I remember coming home from a nearly five week stint in Ghana feeling grateful, but so unsettled because I knew in my heart that life would never be the same. I had gone to Ghana thinking I was doing something amazing for children who needed me. I left with two children who did need me, but I also broke a ton of hearts by having to tell other families that the children they thought were theirs weren’t truly orphans, that they had been harvested, and in some cases, badly abused by an evil man, his wife and an American partner who had no business facilitating adoptions. I had seen indescribable ugliness, and my kids had barely made it out. Everything I thought I had known was a lie, and adoption suddenly looked very, very ugly to me.
I was so grateful for my children, but I left their homeland beaten and grieving.
Two weeks ago tonight, I was sitting in a small ICU room sobbing, praying, and staring down another moment that would count as one of the worst of my life. Dolly came out the other side of it, much the way Giggles and ShyGuy managed to get out of Ghana, and for that, I am truly grateful.
But, again, I left that hospital beaten and grieving.
I am so grateful for my daughter, and every time I feel even the smallest inkling of sadness I scold myself, wondering why I am such a sissy. My daughter lived. She will likely be able to keep her native heart. She is likely cured of her congenital heart defect.
But, she left that hospital beaten, and grieving.
She is covered in wounds. Literally. She is small, and weak. But, she is alive.
So, when I want to cry about the smallest thing, like the fact that she has to ask me for help to sit up, I want to slap myself. “Your daughter isn’t dead! Some mamas don’t have their daughter to ask them for help! They’ll never see their babies again! You have your daughter! Stop being such a weakling!” I have no patience with myself. I am weak.
My life has gone back to normal. I go to school pick up.
I thought it was because I was weak.
I’ve changed my mind. I think it was because I had to be so strong. So, now I am admitting that I need time, and likely some help, to heal. I am admitting weakness and telling myself that it’s okay to not bounce back. It’s okay to cry. My reality is my reality. Her wounds are her wounds, but, they wound me too.
I am her mama. We both lived through hell.
We both need to heal.
–FullPlateMom, who is accepting the weakness.