Friday, October 31, 2008

A little boy, lost and found

Tonight a little boy in Beijing is put to bed just like he has been for the past 16 months. Tomorrow morning a nanny wakes him up and gives him breakfast, just like always. Maybe he'll get to play a little. And then, boom, he is handed over to two strangers and his life changes forever.

I can't imagine what tomorrow will be like for Quinn. Yes, his life with us will almost certainly be better than his life in an orphanage would have been. But he certainly doesn't know that. To him, it's his life, and we're ripping him away from it.

We hope there is a nanny or caregiver who Quinn loves. That means he has learned how to attach to a human, which is a good sign for his adjustment for us. The sad part, though, is that attachment will make the day's events even harder for Quinn. He may think a beloved nanny is his mom. And if so, how can he not be crushed by what we put him through tomorrow? How can he trust us when our first act is to destroy everything he knows to be his life?

I've been practicing my "Chinese for Adoptive Parents" CDs, playing special attention to phrases like, "Don't be afraid," "It's okay," You're safe" and "Poor baby." I have a feeling we'll be needing them.

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