Thursday, September 12, 2013

Celebrating Three Years Of Having Three Kids

Today, the day after a very special anniversary for our family, I was invited to join some friends who were heading out to volunteer at a local orphanage. Being an adoptive parent, I am particularly vulnerable in such a setting. I love kids and have worked with kids from various backgrounds in the past. My heart is definitely on high alert in such a place but I have no current plans to add to our family. It also helped my resolve knowing that there is no legal avenue for us to adopt a child from Indonesia. There are lots and lots of criteria we could never meet; we have three kids, we have previously adopted kids (that rule sort of fails the logic test for me), we are over 40, and the list goes on. All that to say, I walked into the place knowing I could play and enjoy them without feeling the need to add another place setting at our table. 

Well, I believed my head and my heart were firmly attached in the right places, but it didn't take long before I was beginning to wonder if the rules I had been told about adopting here were actually 
correct. I even began to speculate that there may be a loop hole or two for a child who has special needs. I am thrilled to report that many Indonesians do adopt. This orphanage was not over run with waiting kids. The orphanage was nice, clean and well staffed with very kind nannies.

While we were there we met a lady who is the aunt of young family who is adopting one of the babies. She had stopped by to play with her and check on her. She said they have one more hurdle and then she's home for good. We all cheered and the baby clapped. So sweet.

Indonesian kids are beyond adorable!  

 Then, there was this one little boy who grabbed my heart. I watched him play and interact. He reached over to feed me a bite of his Lego block. I pretended to take a bite and acted like it was delicious. He shot me a shy smile, looked away and then back again to see if I was still there. What a cutie!  I could almost feel the ivy like veins of love gripping around my heart. I decided not to hold him or focus on him. But, as I watched the little boy play it got to me. My eyes and nose burned with phantom tears. I believe that my broken heart went undetected. It would have been silly for me to go to that emotional place when I KNEW going in that I could not adopt these any of these kids. The sweet little boy has a few developmental delays and challenges certainly lay ahead of him. One specific physical defect was obvious. I assumed that defect was the reason he had not been adopted after all this time. He is clearly over a year old. It's difficult for me not to judge people for this. He is beautiful, engaging and intelligent. I could love him and provide him what he needs. His needs seem so minor. If he had the love and attention of an experienced family and some minor medical attention he could overcome in no time. I will certainly be praying someone will see past these minuscule issues and bring him home to be their miracle boy.  Then I remembered our fear as we filled out the numerous papers for our adoption. We had requested a healthy child. My heart stung in the revelation of my own hypocrisy. Pretty sure my eyes leaked a little.

I thought about our youngest son and what he might have looked like as a baby. What did he play with? What did he like to eat?  As an adoptive parent I am incredibly lucky because I have a few of his baby and toddler pictures. I will cherish them always. And yet, I lament. If only I could have held him, protected him and cradled him as he slept in my arms. I literally ache for the time we lost with him but that pain is completely over come by the three wonderful years we have had with him. What a treasure he is!

A picture from Our "Gotcha Day" Sept. 11, 2010. We had an awesome group
of family and some of our closest friends at the airport to welcome him home. 

It was just three years ago as of yesterday when we landed in Houston's airport with our youngest son. It's an anniversary that reminds us that our hope and desire to adopt an amazing kid was more than fulfilled. Our life has been blessed beyond our wildest dreams. He is an incredible person. He is funny. He is mature. He is wise beyond his years. He has got me heart and soul. I honestly can't remember life without him here. All three of my kids my treasures. I am a very lucky mom!

They all look SO YOUNG AND LITTLE in this picture!


  1. Awwww... you made me teary. Blessings to you all.

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  3. I am glad to have met all three of the McKeating kids!
    Best wishes from la zona fronteriza, your former home.