Me and a few of my mom friends; and her and a few of her friends.
There is a special bond between the moms, and a special bond between the girls. All of these girls were adopted from China. For the most part they all arrived home within several months of each other.
We have all traveled through this unique journey together. Us moms survived the "paperchase" together. I know each of their girls' referral pictures by heart. We celebrated things together that were sometimes hard to celebrate with friends and family who didn't quite understand. Things like "DTC" and "LID" and "PA" and "LOA" and the all important "TA" and of course "Gotcha Day". It is amazing to me we are now celebrating one-year anniversaries of "Gotcha Days".
We get together for play dates and our conversations start like normal conversations between mothers. We discuss how to handle high grocery bills, piled up laundry, our latest TV show obsessions, upcoming trips, how the big kids are doing, etc. Undoubtedly, though, we end up in discussions that are NOT like normal conversations between moms. We discuss birth mothers and finding spots and orphanage behaviors that still exist in our girls; we re-live our trips to China over and over with each other and we marvel at the way EACH of these girls seem perfectly suited for the family they ended up in. Really, it's crazy. We cry for what they have been through, for what we missed, and for the years they had to live without love and without a family. And we marvel at the changes we have seen in them and the progress they have made since coming home.
We talk a lot about the kids we left behind. We carry a burden for them in our hearts. We have watched our own girls grow their hair, gain weight, go from wobbly or unable to walk to running and jumping, from shy and scared to happy and fearless. And as we watch them run around and play our minds can't help but drift to those who are still living with shaved heads and not enough to eat; those spending their days in cribs, and those who have no happiness.
It is a unique bond we share.
And a unique bond our daughter's share. We are so happy our girls have each other. The first few play dates together they all basically just stared at each other.
Over time we have watched them each grow and change. As they have gotten more comfortable in their new lives, they have gotten more comfortable with each other
Slowly but surely they are getting to know each other. We realize that one day, in the future, the bond they share will be very important to them. That one day, it won't be just the moms talking about things that others sometimes don't understand. One day, our girls may be doing that with each other. Discussing things their other friends don't understand. We hope they can be there for each other.
They are such awesome girls. Each one. Strong, brave, beautiful. Their transformations continue to amaze us. They have faced so much and yet they are full of happiness and love. We are such lucky moms.
These pictures make me think of the song, "The Daughters of China":
"The daughters of china, they fly across the sea.
Off to unseen places, and possibilities.
They are gifts to those who cherish them, from those who just could not.
Acts of hope and faith and love, we never will forget."