Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I Hope No One Reads My Book

What if there was someone following you around, writing down everything that you do? 

How would you feel about that?

No. Wait. They're not writing down everything. They're only writing down the stuff you do wrong.

Now how do you feel?

There's no two ways about it. That would be horrible. I hope no one reads that kind of book about me.

But that's exactly what happened to my kids. From the time they entered the system, people were documenting their behavior. Case workers, counselors, foster parents, school personnel. They had to. It's the law. In the beginning I had to write about them too.

What happens to all that paperwork? It gets filed and forgotten until somebody says, "I'll take her."

I said it three times. Each time I received their book.

Let me tell you about those books.

Those books are scary. Those books are long. Those books are one-sided.

They don't mean to be. They just are.

Those books told me everything they could about my daughters' circumstances.

Why were they taken? It's in the book.
What happened to their families? It's in the book.
Where have they been since then? It's in the book.
Who are these kids? It's not in the book.

Yes. You read that right. It's not in the book.

The book can't tell me anything about her. Only about her circumstances.

Make sure you read it that way.

I don't know what it would be like to have to leave everything I've ever known. I don't know what it would be like to move into a stranger's house. I don't know what it would be like to not matter to those I should matter to. I don't. They do.

How would I have handled it? I may have curled up in the fetal position and died. But they didn't. They toughed it out. They did the best they could. I really believe that.

Don't think their best looked very good? I have no right to sit in judgement of that. None. Because I didn't walk that road. They did.

Those books tell a part of their lives. A small part. It tells about suffering. It tells about hurt. But it doesn't tell about the best part.

It doesn't tell what happened next.

If you're heading down the road of older child adoption, read the book they give you well. Let it tell you all about her circumstances. But don't let it tell you about her. Let her do that. She won't right away, but if you hold on tight and weather the storms of the first few years, she'll tell you her story. The real one. The one inside. The one that matters.

Because she matters. She always has.

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