Jeremy and I went to see the movie The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw, this afternoon.
It is truly an amazing story of adoption. I did just fine until the end where they show photos and a video of the boy/man/family the movie is based on. Then I bawled. I knew the movie was based on a true story, but to see the "real family" who took this lost boy in...brought on emotionals that ripped through me like a tidal wave.
On the ride home both of us were fairly quiet, except to say that the movie was outstanding. A few moments later we began a conversation in which I asked him this question, "If someone were to ask you what exactly was wrong with our situation, what would you say...in simple terms."
His answer, "We were LIED to."
My thoughts exactly.
Hindsight is said to be 20/20, right? I'm not so sure it is. I don't know what ratio I'd make hindsight at this point in my life. One of the hardest things about our adoption has been our grieving. We are still grieving the life we were "prepared for" with an adopted child. I think this comes from being surrounded by so much "normal". Does that make sense? Our story is so different. There is no 1-800-ADOPTED-CP-DEAF-DIDN'T KNOW hotline. Sometimes, we crave normalcy. We were"prepared" by all of the information we were given about AJ by both our agency and the orphange. "Prepared" to bring home a 13-month-old who need a little therapy and lots of love who would be just fine.
Adoption is different from a pregnancy in that you are given, I'm sorry, supposed to be given all information on your child's history. Of course in some situations this is not applicable, but in AJ's, it most certainly WAS. Professionals lied to us. Licensed facilities thought our simple worries were "silly and normal for "new parents". When another professional agency tells you that this was NOT RIGHT, it sinks in.
We are leary of trusting the world of adoption again. And for that matter, would another agency even take us on with fear of us accusing them of the same thing even before we got started. You just never know what they'll think of us. And at this point, I would say rightfully so. Our trust has been broken. We are angry for the loss of time we could of had petitioning for an expedited VISA to get him home sooner on medical necessity, for the early intervention he might have received earlier, researching, establishing physicians and other resources, and beginning to grieve that life we had prepared for. We packed for Italy, and crashed in Holland. This was not supposed to happen. We were at least supposed to know. He was in your care for 13 months and you didn't know?! We are smart enough to answer that question with the correct answer.
What happened to us is RARE. What happened to us was WRONG. What happened to us will never go AWAY.
But out of that wrong, came something so beautiful I have no words to describe it. We have a son, whom we love, no matter what. I am thankful every day he is here with us. I remember what it was like to walk into his room and cry for hours with the blanket we last held him in on a visit to Guatemala. Now he's here. His path is bumpy. Scary. Unpredictable. Tiring. Amazing. But he's here defying the odds.
I think we did a good job (I'll use that term loosely) moving forward when everything happened. We made a choice. We could either drown in it, or move forward and do whatever we could for our son. We chose to move forward. But that doesn't mean we've forgotten. When someone new learns of AJ's story, we are reminded of what happened by the simple words we always end up saying "We didn't know." Unless someone has walked in our shoes in this very situation, it is not understood.
We will be very slow to trust another agency. I won't lie. But, this movie reminded us of how powerful love can be and the positive things that come from such love. We know where AJ would be right now if he wasn't here with us, which horrifies me to no end. I'm turning my blind side to that thought and enjoying my son's giggle as he and Daddy play a game of chase around the house.
The Blind Side is Good.