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Kung Fu Panda

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

To our daughter from her wonderful Aunt....thank you Sharon, this brought me to tears....

Mikala Yin Born Into Our Hearts: One day, I got a phone call from my sister-in-law Sue. While we were talking she brought up the subject of adoption and spoke about how she really wanted more children. At that time she was trying to decide what criteria met her family needs the best. Sue mentioned that she was thinking of adopting two children, they could be older children, and she definitely wanted it to be an international adoption. I’ll never forget cleaning my kitchen and laughing at what I had just heard. I told her that she was crazy for wanting two small children at once, when her son was almost nine-years-old. I also asked her if she had forgotten what the terrible two’s were like; but told Sue that our family would support their decision in whatever they did. To know someone who is going or has gone through the adoption process is very hard on everyone. You watch your friends or loved ones go through such a roller coaster ride of emotions and there is not one thing you can do to help except for to be excited for them in the good times and give a shoulder to cry on in the bad times. With such a significant family event the extended family goes through these emotions as well. With my family, I feel that it has made us closer. I knew that my husband’s brother and his wife were looking into options for adoption, however, I was not aware that they had already gone through some of the red tape of having a case manager, a home study done, or that they were physically on line looking at children. The night of my nephew’s birthday party I will never forget being told that they had actually picked out a little girl to be their daughter. In all of the chaos and noise of Chucky Cheeses the thing that I noticed the most in Glenn and Sues face was that they had never met this child, never touched her, or even kissed her but they already loved her with all of their hearts. The excitement that they had was very contagious. As Glenn and Sue passed around a picture of a little girl with black hair, big warm brown eyes, and a smile, across the table it felt like it was her birth announcement into our family. This little girl’s life has a purpose that a year before, our family didn’t know of. She was born far away from us in a country that is much different from ours and in a place that holds a different value of life than our great country the United States. She comes from a place called Hunan, China. In China, it is know that baby girls are often left on the side of the road to die. That is where she was found. In a town called Yin, somewhere by a road, before she was taken to the orphanage. Everyone in the family felt it took forever to get her home. Glenn and Sue were only able to get two sets of pictures of their new daughter during the nine months of anxiously waiting for her to come home. In these pictures we searched for details hoping that she was happy and well. With every picture or any bit of information of the adoption procedure, the blog that Sue maintains has been our family’s lifeline. Daily I checked the computer to see if progress had been made. Some nights were so exciting with good news and other nights I cried for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law because I felt so bad for the frustration and heart ache that they were going through. We were hoping to have my niece home for Christmas. It was very disappointing to have her gift wrapped and under the Christmas tree and no one to open them. Then there was Chinese New Year in January. During that holiday, there are no adoptions done for two weeks. Our family was very anxious knowing that the paper work was almost completed and they could get a call to go at anytime. Everyone had to practice patience and faith. We had to have patience because we didn’t know when Glenn and Sue would finally get the call that told them they had authorization and a date finally to go. When it came to faith you had to get it or you would go insane wondering what’s happening to your child or family member that is so far away. Who is protecting this child that you love even though you have never seen or physically touched this person? Is she healthy? Was she left in a crib all day or did she get to play with the other children? Is she crawling or did she take her first steps today? What is her favorite toy, book, food, blanket or anything? I remember thinking a lot is my niece a happy child and does she feel loved where she is at? Then you get the phone call that the entire family has waited to hear about for nine months. It’s the call that gives you the date to fly out on, the itinerary of where you will be and what places you will be touring, the date that you will meet your child for the first time and the date of when she will officially be yours. It is the realization that someone will actually be wearing the clothes that are hanging in the closet. The realization of the holiday and birthday gifts that were bought will finally be opened and the toys that have sat in a corner motionless and collecting dust will soon be played with. I can’t imagine how Glenn, Sue, and their son Logan felt eating breakfast on the morning that they were meeting there daughter and sister for the first time. Does the minute stand still or do they fly by? How does a person feel when they actually get to hold and touch their child for the first time instead of a just a picture? I can only hope that it would feel just like the first time a mother or father would hold a child made of their own flesh. In love there is no difference. The day my family received its newest member of the family I knew it was one of the good days of the roller coaster ride. I sped home and went straight to the computer to see a beautiful picture of my niece in her mommy’s arms. She wore a pink sweat suit outfit with a dog on the front. My first thought was she’s safe now. Then I got to compare the difference from her last picture months before. She had a lot more black hair; her cheeks were full, with the same beautiful big brown eyes. Her mommy chose her because of her eyes. She saw something special in them. I think it was life and personality. In this picture Sue is gazing at a daughter that she has longed for. As I look through the pictures of a new family born, I see not only a mother feeling more completed but a father that is very proud and a big brother that will have someone to share secrets and family traditions with in the future. A few days after they met their daughter and sister, she officially became Mikala Yin Furiato. The first time that I got to meet my niece was at a family dinner. She wore a pretty red dress and red shoes. At the time she was cutting teeth and drooling a lot. When she took my hand and led me into the living room to play I had the feeling of pure joy. When Mikala gave me my first hug and kiss and wasn’t afraid of me it was a feeling of pure euphoria. Now that Mikala is safe and home there are still many adventures. Mikala has gone through so much and has handled things very well. With each step of progress the whole family is very excited to see her succeed and with each obstacle that she goes through we are all by her side wanting to help in any way possible. Again, I am at the computer constantly checking her blog to see what she and Logan are doing this week. I am so proud of her for trying and of Logan for being such a helpful big brother. She has accomplished in a few month to walk, run, eat with a fork and spoon, drink from a sippy cup say a few words with the help of constant speech therapy and to sleep more peacefully. A brave Mikala underwent a surgery to try to correct her cleft palate that was unsuccessful. She will need more surgery in the future. With all of these issues and achievements as a family we love the roller coaster ride. The up’s of excitement, happiness, and achieving goals and the downs of worry and hoping that medically she will be healed soon. The whole family is on board for the ride. Mikala has been with us for almost six months now. Within that time we have celebrated her christening, first Easter, family birthdays, dinners, play dates, and most recently this year she was home to open her own birthday presents. When Mikala was adopted by her mom and dad, she didn’t just complete them; she has brought the entire family closer together and has made our bond deeper. For that I am forever grateful to a beautiful brown-eyed girl that came from so far away. Mikala Yin Furiato you are born into our hearts. With love, Aunt Sharon

1 comment:

Nancy Korb said...

What you wrote was beautiful I am one of Susan's friends from Willow (though I'm not there anymore.)

I cannot tell you how much Mikala and Susan and Logan and Glenn have become a part of my life. I'm not there, but I too look at the blog almost daily. My husband and I pray for her when she's undergoing surgery and I know how worried Susan has been.

We laugh at the little miss model Mikala has become because her mommy must sleep with a camera in her hand. We cheer her every advance and delight in the sheer happiness of the family.

We almost feel as if we are a part of Mikala's family. I hope her blog remains intact until she is grown and beyond. God Bless your little family.

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