Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Elli- Did You Lose Your Mommy?

It's hard for kids to understand an adult world. They don't understand why they can't have every piece of candy they ask for in the store, why you can't go swimming while it's storming outside or why you have to go to work and can't play all day every day.

Adoption is an adult world concept that is difficult for kids to understand. Just ask my youngest son, Adam. On May 12, 2011, Leslie gave birth to our third son, Adam. For 4 years, 4 months and 3 days he was the baby of the family. His title was unchallenged. He was the undisputed baby of the Pollard house...then "she" came into our lives.

As much as everyone else loved Elli, Adam had some difficulty. She was now the baby and that hurt a little. While we were in China things were "okay," but once we got home Adam began to understand this was a permanent situation. He had to learn to share his toys. He had to learn there was someone younger in the family whose needs were pressing all of the time. He had to understand he wasn't the baby anymore..and he didn't like it.

A couple of days after returning from China Adam said to Leslie, "Mommy, we need to take Elli home to her mommy." Wow. How do you explain this to a four year old? So Leslie told Adam, "Buddy, Elli lost her mommy. So your mommy is her mommy now." Adam thought about it for a minute and said, "Yeah, but we still need to take her home to her mommy." Leslie explained that our home was now Elli's home and that Adam's mommy was Elli's mommy, too.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I was driving the kids to the movies to give mommy a little break and I overheard this conversation in the backseat:

Adam: "Elli, did you lose your mommy?"

Elli: "Yeah." (then a sad look came over her face)

Adam: (in a comforting voice) "It's okay, Elli. Mommy went to China to get you and now she's happy. Mommy is your mommy."

A big smile came across Elli's face and she threw her hands into the air and screamed, "Yay!"

I fought back the tears as my heart melted. Before Elli entered our lives, Leslie and I prayed with the kids every night that God would bring the right child to us. We asked God to help us all love Elli. Although he didn't get it at first and struggled with the idea, Adam finally understood "my mommy is Elli's mommy"...and he was okay with it. In fact, he was happy about it. So was Elli.

Every parent who has ever lost a child in a store knows the fear that can grip your heart as you search frantically for your child. I've lost one of my kids in a store before. Until you find him, it's a hopeless feeling.

However, I have also been a lost child. I vividly remember a trip to Sears when I was a kid. My brother and I were playing Hide-and-Seek in all of the clothing racks. I found a good spot and stayed there for some time. After I realized my brother was taking longer-than-usual to find me I came out of the hiding spot to find him. However, he was not there...nor was my mom. Fear gripped me. Panic set in. "Where are they? Did they leave me? Are they coming back to get me?"

I was probably only missing for about 1 minute but it felt like one lifetime. Then I remember hearing my mom's voice, "Robby?! Robby?!" Although I could sense fear and anxiety in her cries, it felt so amazing to hear her voice and to know my mom was looking for me. I followed the sound of her voice and started calling to her, "Mom! Mom!" We finally found each other and she hugged me. I could sense the joy she felt in finding me. I could also sense the relief. But her joy paled in comparison to the joy I felt for being found.

Elli lost her mommy for almost 4 years of her life. I don't know how long that felt to her. My heart hurts to think about it, really. During the nearly two years it took for us to go through the adoption process we hit numerous hurdles with agencies, governments, and finances. It was physically, emotionally and spiritually draining.

But a mommy who is looking for her daughter cannot be stopped. Leslie stood strong when we hit dead ends, persevered through adversity, filled out more paperwork than you can imagine and traveled halfway around the world to find her little girl.

So yes, Elli lost her mommy, but her mommy has found her. And Elli has found her mommy. Really, they found each other.

Elliana Joy Jing Pollard. Elliana means "God has answered." God has answered our prayers and brought us joy.

No comments:

Post a Comment