Monday, February 25, 2013

Unexpected Grief

Anyone who's adopting internationally can tell you, information about their child's family ranges from very little to non-existent.  There's a likelihood of biological siblings, either current or future, that the child may or may not have been raised with.  It's a blip on the radar, something that is disregarded, for the most part, as inevitable.  

I've had this ridiculous, pie-in-the-sky dream about finding Alexis' family.  Meeting them, sending them pictures and updates.  Once I arrived in Congo, I understood why that was such an unrealistic goal, as Kinshasa has close to 10 million people living there, many of them homeless or close to it.  

Today, I saw a picture of a little boy up for adoption.  And for the very first time, since laying eyes on my daughter, someone looked like her.  Having been to Congo, I've seen thousands of beautiful brown Congolese faces.  And I can honestly say that I haven't seen a smidgen of resemblance to a single person that I've come in contact with.  But this little boy is the spitting image of my little girl.  In fact, he looks so much like her, Alexis first thought that it was a picture of her that I was holding.  (So did other people, in fact).  

This mommy began to speculate, began to dream.  What if, by some grace of God, I'd stumbled upon my daughter's brother?  

There's this huge hole in my heart, that aches to give my girl a history, a family connection.  I will never have baby pictures of her.  I wasn't there to see her take her first steps or smile her first smile, and I cannot record those memories for her like I've done with Robby and Ella.  And I ache, so desperately, to be able to give that to her!  I yearn to tell my daughter her story, the small details that make a person who they are.  And I can never do that.  

Alexis told me that she doesn't know that boy.  That he is, in fact, not her brother, as I'd almost convinced myself was true.  And I'm hurting today, for the brother I cannot give Alexis, and the family I can't give that little boy.  Adoption, while beautiful, is loss.  

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