Many nights before bed, my girl asks to hear the story of Mama Bear and Papa Bear and how they traveled to China to get their daughter. After a year I would have thought Arwyn would have grown tired of it. But, no, she still loves it as often as I'll tell it.
In a week and a half, our family will celebrate the one year anniversary of becoming a family of four. In celebration, I am creating photo books for the kids (one each) and one for Nathan and I which chronicles our 17 day trip through China. I'll hand them out at dinner at a local Chinese restaurants where all of the Chinese nationals eat.
Noah's book was so simple to put together. I told the story and added pictures and cannot wait to see it come in the mail. Hmmm....
Then I began Arwyn's book. I guess the question is not so much where does her story begin. The answer to that is it began at the same place that everyone's story begins. Two people meet, join together and make a baby. Then what? Fill in the blank. Then they decide they cannot keep their daughter because she is a girl? Then they decide they cannot keep her because they have other children? Do they decide they cannot keep her because of the poverty level the live in? What about because of her special need and their knowledge that medical help is all but impossible in their city?
I believe they wanted to keep her. Call me optimistic, but our beloved was not abandoned right away. She was not a newborn when she was found which gives me hope that her parents struggled before letting her go. I don't know that to be true of course and would not put that in her anniversary book. But, as a mom, having given birth and having traveled to China and seen the women there, I cannot believe that her Mother gave her away without her own heart breaking.
My heart hurts now for her and for Arwyn. But, that still leaves me with the question of where to begin the story of her life with us. I'm sure I'll sort it out as I put the book together, skipping parts here and there until I have a clear picture of what this looks like.
We all want to know our own story. We yearn to find out about ourselves. We take self help classes and meditate and pray and ask for guidance. But, most of us have at least firm footing of our roots and our ancestry to begin. For those that do not, where do you go?
I am sure this will not be the first time that we are faced with such dilemmas as we help our little one navigate life. I just hope that we are wise enough to face these challenges and help her come through the other side.