Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Friend

 I met the nicest person today. I wan't to write it down so I don't forget it. Beau was having a lesson and I was killing an hour in Starbucks with five kids. They don't serve iced coffee in Canada until summer so she was making me her version for me. I payed her and apologized for being picky. But I DID thank her for filling my dome lid all the way with whipped cream. She was the first person in Canada who has ever done that. She smiled at me and then smiled at Havensong. She asked me if she was mine. I kissed Havensong and kept chatting...

 "YEP! All mine!"
"Is she Chinese?" 
"Yes, she is, are you?"
"Yes... did you adopt her?"
"Where are her parents?"
"I don't know, she was found at a day old."

      She said she lived in China until she was thirteen. She was adopted at age four. She told me she wasn't bitter though because she was thankful her mother was brave enough to have her at all considering she was a girl. She told me she was lucky and Havensong was lucky that their  mothers didn't "suffocate them and dump them in a bucket."  She told me more than a few girls end up sold. She said she knows they were sold to bad people to do sexual things for them. I dislike people telling me I "saved" Havensong, but she was so serious when she told me we rescued her from a horrible fate. I was not going to stand there and debate that fact. I literally stood there with my mouth hanging open. I had read about this in books but I had never heard it so casually stated by a Chinese person. I must have looked miserable. She told me to be careful not to cry because I do not understand the way their culture works and that I cannot possibly think like they do. She told me it was pounded into their heads from childhood that having a baby does not make you a mother. She told me when I gave birth to my children I wasn't automatically their mother. That is why women are able to give their daughters away because motherhood is a process, not something that happens just because your body gives birth to a child. I was trying so hard to keep my face pleasant and calm looking. She said,

     "It takes courage to carry and birth a baby. It is not easy. Your stomach does not feel like like a balloon with air. It is heavy. It is scary and birth is painful. They teach us to be afraid of it. Our people are not like people here. We are closed. We are private. We don't love everyone we meet. We are serious and we work hard....

 I told her that she is right, it is painful. And I wanted to tell her I loved my babies before I ever saw them but it didn't seem like good timing. She said she understands that her adoptive mother doesn't love her as much as she loves her real child but that she is grateful to her even though they kept it a secret. She said Havensong might be prone to depression when she is older because she will feel "less loved." Now seemed like a good time to speak up. I couldn't help it. I said,

     " I can't begin to understand the many reasons why parents give up their children, all I know is I am grateful Havensong found her way to us. I explained I didn't know how or why she ended up under that street light, but I was simply grateful to have her. I leaned forward and put my hands all the way across the counter and looked her in the eye. I said,

    " I am not lying when I tell you this. I love Havensong just as much as I love my other children. It's the same. It's not any different. My heart can't tell she didn't come from me. So, I know you are loved the same. Don't be sad, because I am telling you the truth."

She was the one with her mouth open this time. She said,

     "I know why you are the one who ended up as her mom. You  have so much love that you give, that it was returned to you in her. You should be proud of your daughter...."

I nodded and thanked her. I wanted to say things, but I was getting emotional and had a lump in my throat. I didn't think words would even come out.

She grabbed a piece of paper and said,

"I am sorry if you think I am strange, but I would like to stay in contact with you and your little girl. Maybe I could help her understand where she came from. I am just a girl though. I am twenty -two."

I told her I would LOVE that. ( I also told her I had two kids by twenty-two and I didn't see her as a girl at all.) We exchanged email and Facebook information and I left. I felt like I was floating to my van. It is rare that I get an inside peek into Havensong's culture. I felt like I had stumbled onto a treasure. I wasn't able to correct her for being misinformed. I couldn't argue any point as a result of the last adoption book I'd read. She was simply telling me things from her perspective. And it was insightful and touching. I just feel for her coworker! He was trying to look busy but I could tell he was totally interested in our conversation.

You just never know who will come along and touch your heart. I really enjoy talking with people and hearing their stories. It energizes me to see how God threads people together like a tapestry. I hope I get to know her better, but if I don't, I am still glad I got to talk to her...and listen.


  1. Wow. Just Wow. Thank you for sharing such a moving encounter!