5 years ago, my biggest worry was transitioning my 3 year old Furby from private speech therapy to speech therapy at the local public school. I was scared about the whole IEP process. (Silly me. God was using this experience to prepare me to advocate for Hannah.)
5 years ago, Josiah was in braces.
5 years ago, we were not even planning to adopt yet.
5 years ago, I had NO IDEA that on the other side of the world my daughter was taking her first breaths.
So, today, as we celebrate her birthday, W is for Wonder, both for the Wonder that she is to me, and for all the things I Wonder about surrounding that special day 5 years ago.
How much did she weigh when she was born? It makes me so sad not to know that basic bit of information. I took for granted that every mother knew their child's birth weight. My child was 26# when I got her.
Was Hannah's first mom older or younger than me? Was this her first baby? Or had she been through birth before? Was she single or married, did she live in a rural or urban setting?
Did she cuddle Hannah close and sob over her, or shrink in revulsion at Hannah's deformities? Who made the decision to give Hannah up? Did her first mother want to keep her, but her husband or mother in law insisted that she would bring the family bad luck? Did they feel she'd get better medical care in a Social Welfare Institute than what they could afford to give her?
I wonder if her birthmother remembers her this day in some special way, or if the day passes without her thinking of Hannah at all. I wonder if she sees 4-5 year old children at the park and wishes things were different. I wonder if she's gone on to have another child since then, and whether or not she is parenting, and how that impacts how she feels about not parenting Hannah.
She has no idea that the tiny "handicapped" infant she bore is amazingly capable, totally hilarious, and full of potential. I wish I could tell her. I wish there was some way to let her know that Hannah's okay. That she's more than okay, she's really great. I wish for a moment, Hannah's birthmother could have a window into our lives and see her daughter, my daughter, our daughter laughing and playing with her siblings.
And I wonder what the next 5 years will bring. When Hannah is the age that Eli is now, what will she be like? Will we be homeschooling? What activities will she be involved in? Will she have a best friend that accepts her just the way she is? What adoption issues will she be processing at that point? How will she feel about being Chinese? Adopted? Different? Will she still be the baby in our family? If not, how will she handle younger siblings? What kind of big sister will she be? Will it be a comfort to her to have adopted siblings like her?
I wonder if Hannah will want to search for her birth family when she's older. I wonder if she'll find them. China is changing so rapidly, I wonder if there will be more and more first family reunions as time goes by.
There are so many things I wonder about. The unknowns in adoption are endless. But what I do know is, we have been so blessed to have Hannah in our family. Hannah is a very special girl, and I can't wait to see what God has planned for her. Even though I can't give her answers to all the questions she will eventually ask about her origins, I can give her love and care and happy memories. And I can cry with her when the not knowing is too overwhelming. Because, believe me, I wonder, too.