Thermometer of our Love

ThermometerJust tonight my 10 year old son said, “So why did you adopt me and Silvanie?” This quiet voice from across the room asked the profound question once again. In the middle of me helping his sister with homework, Bernard’s thoughts were not on spelling or math, but on his adoption and his native land of Haiti.

What prompted the thoughts? What made his precious soul ponder such a question? What sparked the curiosity? As often the case, I don’t know, but I love when he asks because I love being able to answer.

“Bernard, we went to Haiti in 1997. We fell in love with your country. We left Haiti knowing that someday we wanted to adopt children who needed a mommy and daddy. We were so happy that God chose us.” Unlike his usual high volume, he answered quietly with an, “ok” with a proud smile on his face.

Does he wonder if the answer will change or is it just a little thermometer of our love?

How do you measure a family’s love? How do adopted children feel fully loved? Being a transracial family for 6 years my heart beats faster with the topic, but success in the transracial dynamic is a daily embrace – embracing the unique needs for their skin and hair, embracing their talent to dance and embracing their constant volume. You can’t fully love the individuals unless you learn to understand, love and respect their country; their native land.

We have returned to the country that holds our heart several times since that life-changing trip in 1997, but since the kids came home in 2010, we dreamt of the day that we could return as a family of 6. In the summer of 2015 our dream came true. We were thrilled to take Bernard and Silvanie back to visit their homeland, stay at the orphanage for 3 days and visit a few family and friends.

They were so proud to learn what an orphanage is. They were excited to see the natural beauty of their homeland and eat their “like non other” native rice and beans.

Haiti is not just where two of our children happen to be from.

Haiti is in our constant conversations.

Haiti is in our regular prayers.

Haiti is in our weekly menu of rice and beans on Thursday nights.

Haiti is in the colorful and eye catching artwork on our walls.

One summer when we hiked our annual 14er as a family a hiker who was also on the summit asked the children where they were from. Bernard proudly said, “I am from Haiti.” Indeed, success in this mama’s heart. He didn’t say, “Denver”. He didn’t say, “Colorado.” He said, “Haiti.” That is transracial success. A son who is proud of his homeland. That is a full thermometer of love – love for our children, love for their country, and love for their stories, embracing each chapter as it unfolds.

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