Monday, August 1, 2011

Thinking of Elijah

Today (and many other days) I am thinking of Elijah, a little boy I first saw in a newsletter from the family who first took care of my darling son, Nicholas. Mike and Elisa Haller have a home in China and care for, as well as provide medical care for, boys without families. I fell in love with Elijah the moment I saw his face. My eyes were instantly drawn to him. And, while so many of the little boys are adorable, only his face stayed with me. (There's that photo below):
The thing about adoption is, you can never look at another child again and not think "that could be my child." Any child -- no matter how different he or she looks from me, no matter how different he or she acts or talks or lives, could be my child. And, then, with that is a sense of responsibility. I look at Elijah and think: I could be his mama. I could give him the love, the education, the giggles, the kisses on his boo-boos, the therapies etc. that he needs. And, what kills me, is that we could do it. It might make our lives a bit more complicated and uncomfortable to have a 5th child -- and one with a special need -- but we could do it. We could so something with relative ease that he just cannot do for himself.

I met Elijah this past winter when we were in China to adopt Ellie. We were visiting Nicholas' former home and he was there -- quiet, unassuming, not drawing attention to himself. And yet, I was so drawn. He was well-cared for, loved by his ayis (nannies) and provided for by the love of Mike and Elisa. Yet, not in a family. Playing with toys well below what is appropriate for his age (that is all there was the play with), a little withdrawn. I so longed to pick him up and lean him out of there. Bring him home. Give him a bed and a closet of clothes and read him books at night. I want to find out his favorite food and cook it for him. I want to find out what toys he really loves (would it be trains like Nicholas? Superheros like Peter? Something different altogether?) and then let his little imagination take hold of it. I want to teach him to read. I want to watch him laugh in the pool. I want to see his excitement at Christmas. I want to sooth him when he cries. I want him to learn about unconditional love.

The chances of us adopting him are slim. First and most importantly, my dh is not sure a 5th child is right for us. But, also the bureaucracy makes it hard to find a specific child and then get matched with his file. But, I can pray he finds a family. I can pray he finds all of those things that I listed above, with or without me.

xxoo, Elijah.

All the children who are held and loved will know how to love others...
Spread these virtues in the world. Nothing more need be done.
--Meng Zi c.300BC

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