Adoption is obviously a hot topic at our house. Explaining our upcoming adoption to the kids has been less challenging than I anticipated in the beginning. Charlotte was 6 months old and Elliott was 2 years old when we started our process. C had no idea what was going on at the time but has grown up with the knowledge that she has a little sibling in Africa. E latched on to the idea from the beginning and talks about him like he’s just down the street. “When are we going to go get our brother in Africa, ” he asks on a daily basis. I don’t know buddy, I don’t know. Hopefully soon. Our little guy comes up in bedtime prayers and late night conversations. We mull over all of life’s big questions: How does God stay with me all night? Where did the stars come from? What is my brother doing right now?
As of late, Elliott’s wonderings have taken an interesting, slightly amusing, turn. It began when he met a new friend from South Korea who had just come home to his forever family. As soon as that precious little boy walked away with his mommy Elliott turned to me and said “We’re from the same village.” With a matter of fact expression, a little pride thrown in there too I might add, he waited for my response. I let out a tiny giggle and informed him that no, he was not from the same village, he was in fact from my belly. He was pretty adamant about his “adoption” story and was further disappointed when I continued to insist that he was, in truth, born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Poor guy. In his eyes adopted kids are rock stars. This makes sense, we are dedicating months and years to the pursuit of these kiddos. And they deserve it. But I promise you, Elliott has gotten equal billing on our radar. He’s our little showman, the apple of our eye. The only male grandchild. My friends, he is not lacking in the attention department. Granted, Charlotte is a charming little thing and steals the show from time to time, but seriously, neither of them lack parental involvement. This is obviously not a “pay attention to me” tactic. He simply thinks adopted children are awesome. Good deal, I agree.
Elliott not only thinks adoption is awesome, he has taken it upon himself to adopt others. When I say “others” I mean insects. Last week he captured an “orphan” firefly and insisted we keep him because he had no family. He rescued an “orphan” worm and tried to reunite him with his family. Too many adorable little stories to retell. At first I tried to explain, worms aren’t orphans, blah, blah blah. But I realized that he is doing his part to understand. His brother isn’t here. We don’t know when he will be here. So until then he will “adopt” worms, fireflies, ants, stray toys and anything else that appears to be lonely.
It’s funny how we see ourselves in our children. I may not be adopting insects but I’m certainly filling my time. Celebrating others as they complete their families, watching these darlings come home to their waiting families. Getting excited with other mamas as they prepare to meet their kids. Thank you God for surrounding me with others who are moving in the same direction. It really helps when you’re in the trenches of the adoption battle… doing anything in your power to bring your child home and realizing that you can do nothing. My advice to others hanging in this space with me; fill your time with things of meaning. Help others. Volunteer. Pray. But don’t get discouraged. If you’ve got to adopt a worm to stay sane, adopt a worm. Elliott can help you through the dossier.