Recently my son Ian brought home a special drawing from school. It was colorful and creative, yet slightly confused considering his explanation, which was: "This is me and Alec ... in the tummy ... in Haiti!" Well, the Haiti part was right. And the "in the tummy" (spoken with slight hesitation) seemed to indicate an understanding that it wasn't my tummy. (Oh, and the cute belly button is a particular trademark of both Ian and Alec's drawings!) But the "me and Alec" part indicated that maybe there were still some points of their adoption story to clarify.
Fast forward to yesterday. In a lovely moment of quiet and harmony, all three boys were diligently drawing in their own notebooks. Alec was very proud to show me his drawing! He told me it was Daddy and Mommy, with Ian and Alec. (Once again note the prominent belly buttons!) Just like Ian, he drew himself and his brother in one tummy.
Seeing as how this confusion exists even though I've told each of the boys their adoption stories multiple times and have reviewed photographs from their infancy in Haiti, I decided a drawing of my own might be in order - to speak their language, you might say! My picture went like this:
On the left is Mommy, Daddy, Eva, Isabel and Owen ... in Chile, praying for a little brother (or two!) On the right is Alec's birthmom and Ian's birthmom carrying each little guy respectively, in Haiti. An airplane connects all the people, and overseeing the entire process is a King (representing God in His sovereignty.) Simplistic? Maybe. Helpful? I hope so ... Ian and Alec seemed to understand when I explained again that each one has his own special birthmom in Haiti. Alec's response was bittersweet. "Why can't they come here, too?" he asked, tracing the arrow from Haiti to Chile.
This morning, Owen surprised me with a drawing of his own. It seemed fitting to include it in this post, because he pictured "Dad, Mom, Eva, Isabel, Owen, Ian, Alec" (love the little heart between Mom and Dad!) It's the "happy ending" to the story above. But Alec's remark was a reminder that in every adoption, love and loss are irrevocably intertwined. A family like ours is a treasure, and a trust.