• Adoption Questions (Part 2)

    Date: 2016.09.12 | Category: Adoption, Adoption Questions | Tags:

    In yesterday’s blog, I asked the girls questions about how they were told about their upcoming adoption and what they thought adoption was.  I also asked them two more questions that I saved for today.  What kept them going and did anyone treat them special?


    Jasmine’s story is so complex and full of pain and trauma that is beyond anything any child should have to endure.  She has allowed me to share, and she herself has shared on her blog – Flower That Blooms, some of the least traumatic events that have happened to her.  If you have read any of her story, just let that soak in for awhile – these are the least traumatic events.  If you have been moved by her stories, just remember there is so much more that she has endured, things that bring tears to my eyes just thinking about them, her body holds the scars of that abuse and even more so her heart, and still she is a light in the world.

    What kept her going?  When the nannies were offering to help her die on numerous occasions, why didn’t she take that path?  She sat alone in a corner all day long.  She wasn’t allowed to join the kids for meals or school because those happened on a different floor.  She was ridiculed and made to feel like a burden.  So when her time was running out and she didn’t think a family was coming and she knew the horror of what was to come, why didn’t she end her life?

    She told me she never chose that path because she felt a presence that she couldn’t explain.  She felt like her life had purpose, that there was something she was supposed to do.  She never understood it, but she knew she should not take her life.  I have been told by someone who met Jasmine while she was in the orphanage that there was a light about her, that she exuded something good.

    This just blows my mind. I’m not sure I would have been that strong.  I’m not sure I would have kept my cheerful, hopeful personality facing all those adversities.

    Did anyone have compassion for you?   She told me that she remembers a better time with her grandma before she was unable to move.  Things were better when she was younger, she could still sit unassisted and still move a bit.  As her ability to move slowly faded, she became more of a “burden”.  At the age of 5, she was left alone while everyone went to work.  She was moved to the alleyway when family gatherings happened because no one wanted to be bothered by the child who was “cursed” with a disability.  She was allowed to go to school for a little while until everyone complained about her being there.   She was spit on and shunned by everyone.  She remembers a little girl who moved in next door who stopped in to talk to her in the alleyway sometimes.  When this little girl’s parents realized she was talking to “the cripple”, they moved (or at least that was what Jasmine was told).  These are the stories she shares and yet still she is still compassionate and filled with joy.

    She says no one in the orphanage was kind to her.  Whenever anyone lifted her they complained about how heavy she was and what a burden it was to care for her.   Whenever anyone brought her her meal, they complained about bringing food from another floor and having to go out of their way for her.  When others visited the orphanage, the nannies were charming in front of the guests. Those days were special and good, because for a little while she would be treated kindly.  She wishes she could tell stories of someone who truly made her feel special, but she isn’t able to.

    Jasmine has lived through unthinkable trauma and yet she is a compassionate fighter who wants more than anything to change the lives for other children in need.   She was able to live through the worst and hope for the best, for this reason and 1,000 more she will forever by my hero.

    Elyse 2015

    I asked Elyse the same questions.  What kept her going?  She says she was happy in foster care because she didn’t know any better.  She thought she was treated well in China until she came here and felt the true love of a family and even the acceptance and compassion of complete strangers. The realization that she was treated so badly for so many years has been difficult and the anger is palpable.

    Elyse’s “love language” is touch.  A hug and kiss and snuggle and Elyse is in her happy place.  She didn’t have that in China – quite the opposite. Harsh words and harsh physical contact. She thought she deserved it.

    She said she kept going because that is “just what life was”.  That is all she ever knew and it seemed okay at the time. The little ones kept her going. She said she enjoyed feeding and caring for the little kids, especially the babies and toddlers.  While older kids were allowed to play outside on the playground, she played inside with the little children.  Caring for the little ones gave her life purpose and kept her going.

    Did anyone treat you special?  She said her foster grandma loved her.  She knows that now although she was angry at her after she first came home to us and realized that her grandma didn’t protect her from the abuse that was happening.  She has now come to grips with those feelings.  She knows that her grandma probably did the best she could, in the position she was in, and tried to show love.

    The orphanage was different.  Elyse was a burden.  She was told this over and over again.  No one wanted to change her.  No one wanted to help her move.  No one was truly kind.  They just did their jobs and let her know how hard it was to care for her.  Elyse says there were a couple girls that she was friends with and together they tried to make life more bearable.

    Elyse says she loves life.  I can see that about Elyse.  She is a fighter.  She is outspoken.  She is full of love and has a bright spirit.   Elyse knows what is right and fights for it.  She is competitive and full of drive.  She wants to change the world as much as Jasmine does but in her own way.  She will always be my hero for her feisty, spunky, full of love ways.


    JJ is still pretty quiet and I am very careful to not push her for answers she is not ready to give.  I gave her the option of doing this with Jasmine and Elyse.  She asked Elyse and Jasmine why they did it.  Elyse and Jasmine both told her that the reason they decided to blog was that it would let others know what it was like for them as orphans.  JJ said she wanted to help to.

    What kept you going?  She said nothing did.  I told her that I had seen pictures of her smiling when she was very little. I asked her what changed.  The last pictures we got of her were so sad.  You could see the sadness in her eyes.  I asked her why she was so sad and her soft whisper brought me to my knees.  She looked me in the eyes and said, “I almost gived up mama!”

    JJ was separated from everyone.  She was in the hospital side of the orphanage.  She had no friends.  She wasn’t allowed to go anywhere.  She wasn’t allowed a wheelchair.  She was isolated, alone, and afraid.  I told her I saw pictures of her at a table with other kids and she confirmed what Jasmine said – that it was all show for when people visited.  She lived for those days.

    Was anyone kind to her?   She said no one was.  I can believe it because when they handed her off to us on the day we visited the orphanage, their comments made Dan and I cringe. It was like they were happy to be getting rid of her and relived to not do her cares anymore.  It was awful.  JJ was so sad.

    She said they often told her she was bad.  They would “forget” to feed her.  They said she was smelly and none of the adults wanted to be around her.

    JJ is tough.  She stands up for what she believes in.  You should see her now.  I am so proud of my little girl for fighting and holding on until we got there.   She deserves a super hero cape of her own.

    There are many people who tell me this wasn’t the reality for their children in the orphanage.  I say thank goodness.  But this is my girls’ reality.  I know there is a pecking order in these orphanages.  Even among the children if you can not walk, you are looked down upon.  If you are incontinent, it adds a whole other layer of disgust from others.  There are many factors – province, directors, nannies, disability, the list goes on and on.  We are sharing their story to show one side of what happens.  To open eyes and to help others understand that an institution is not a family.  It never will be family.  Children need families.

    “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”  – Christopher Reeve

    Maybe your home could use a superhero too!  🙂