Archive for the ‘Food for Thought Friday’ Category

  • What is a Life That Has Worth

    Date: 2016.05.27 | Category: Food for Thought Friday, Jasmine (Shuang Shuang)

    It’s been a while since we’ve done a Food For Thought Friday. Today seems a good day to start again.

    Jasmine came to us with great hope for a new life. The first two years were pretty darn amazing. She was happy to have a family. She was happy to start a new life with  people who cared for her.   She was filled with joy over being able to learn and do new things.  Then she had her spinal fusion surgery and for some reason, even though we told her over and over again that it would only fix her back, she believed she would be healed and be able to walk. We have dealt this past year with her loss of hope and feelings of worthlessness about being a burden to those around her.

    It’s a strange thing, considering she has never walked, but the loss of hope that she would one day walk, has taken it’s toll on her joyful heart. We go for periods of time where she can be content and turn it around, but her sadness over the fact that her life seems to have no worth because she is unable to do anything for herself except brush her teeth and eat, wins on too many days. Everyone has blue days and we allow her those, but this is much more than that and it breaks our hearts.

    She is angry and she doesn’t know what to do with that anger.  She rages and screams out.  She can be angry for days.  She refuses to talk to anyone, especially a therapist.  Add the fact that no one has been there to teach her how to deal with her feelings, as we do with our young children, and we are left with a very angry toddler in a 16 year old’s body.

    We have spent our days repeating over and over again that we want to care for her.  We have told her, unlike her bio parents and her grandparents, we knew going in what her disability meant.  Dan’s a physician.  We knew as soon as we met her that she had a degenerative muscle disease.  We knew and we loved her and she was then and always would be our daughter.  But being abandoned when you are eight because you are too heavy to carry, has colored our girl’s world.  She believes at some point, it will be too much and we too will abandon her.  She’s striking out because she wants to be in control this time.  She wants to be the person who leaves, but because of her physical limitations she is unable to, so she is left doing the only thing she can which is scream out in anger over a world that is unfair.

    It’s been a very difficult year with her trying to get her to see that her life has worth.  This is not sadness over adoption related issues but rather over the loss of hope of one day walking again.  For Jasmine this year has been much like a person who finds themselves injured and paralyzed, learning how to find your purpose in life, when everything has changed.

    Jasmine recently saw a movie trailer for “Me Before You”.  She was so excited to go see this movie about a young man who is a quadriplegic who falls in love with his caregiver.  Jasmine is a romantic.  She loves romance and happy endings.  She is often upset that she believes no one could love her since she is unable to do much for herself.  I was excited about taking her to this movie, especially when I heard these quotes.

    “You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”

    “Push yourself. Don’t Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”

    But then I read The Mighty‘s article about this movie. The movie ends with him ending his life with euthanasia. Really? We are trying our hardest to show our girl that you are more than your body.  That life is worth living.  We are trying to encourage her and get her to believe that what she was told in China is NOT the truth – that she does have worth. We are trying to show her that her life truly does have a purpose and that she has touched so many other lives.

    Now I have to say that I can not go to see this movie with her because no matter how wonderful the love story portion of the movie is, I can not deal with that subject right now.  She is at just too vulnerable a point.  I know at some point we will have to have this very heavy discussion.

    So for right now, we will continue to discuss what does “a life of worth” look like?

    If you can’t or don’t go to college, does your life still have worth?

    If you don’t marry, does your life have worth?

    If you don’t have children, does your life have worth?

    If you aren’t able to do any of your daily life cares, does your life have worth?

    • When you are left to live with your grandmother, because you are told your mother can not stand to look at you, you doubt your worth.
    • When you are abandoned because you are too heavy to carry any more, you doubt your worth.
    • When you are cared for in an orphanage where you aren’t even worth the time to teach because the school is one floor above you, you doubt your worth.
    • When you are left in a corner all day long because no one can bother moving you, you doubt your worth.
    • When you are left to sleep on the floor with no blankets because someone can’t be bothered to lift you or cover you up, you doubt your worth.
    • When you are told over and over again that the only way your life will have worth is if you walk, then what are you, as a child, to believe?

    These are Jasmine’s “truths” that we have to overcome.  She has talked about these facts often on her blog. (Flower that Blooms) She heard those truths for almost 14 years of her life.  She has heard our “truths” for only 3 years.  I know we will get there.  I just wish I could get her to see herself through my eyes.   I see a girl of great worth, who is compassionate and caring even though the world has let her down.  I see a girl that can change the world with just her words.  I see a girl of great strength and character.  I see a girl when told she can dream about anything, chooses to dream about a day when there are no more orphans.  I see a girl that others should try hard to be like.

    I believe that a life that has worth is a life that touches other’s lives.  I believe that you can have great purpose and never, ever fit the description of what the world believes is a life of worth.  My goal now is to get Jasmine to believe it.

     

     

     

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