Monday, February 06, 2012

He Looks Like His Mama.

This realization pierced my heart the other night as we were finally going through all that Ukrainian paperwork, trying to make sense of it all.  And there it was - between the Decree of Abandonment and his Certificate of U.S. Citizenship.

His mama's face.  I saw it on her passport photo.  And I realized - he looks just like his mama.

She is beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful.

Okay - maybe I'm biased.  Maybe.

As I walked out to the living room to snatch a hug from our brand-new 3 year old, I saw her.  I saw her all over his face.  His soulful eyes.  His pouty lips.  His arched brows.  It's all her.

We know that Carter's parents visited him regularly for quite some time.  The visits stopped when they adopted a healthy Ukrainian child...and I can't help but wonder if Carter missed her.  I don't limit Carter's capacity to understand things like this, despite the fact that he has Down syndrome.  He knows that he was loved during those three months that he was taken home after he was born.  He felt his mama's touch as she nursed him for those three months - and I know it was a gentle, loving touch.  I know, because I see that same gentle, loving touch in him.  He is kind and tender - those are traits not learned in an orphanage.

Do you know what that tells me?

He remembers.  He remembers love.  He remembers his mama's face, maybe.

Without a doubt, there are some things that he remembers.

In some ways, this breaks my heart.  When going through all that paperwork, the 'Decree of Abandonment' stuck out to me.  Decree of Abandonment.  Just the words sound so cold and icy.  I can't help but think that it would be easier if he forgot his messy past.  If he forgot that he was abandoned by a mama and papa who cared for him for 3 months - maybe life would be easier.  If he forgot that he spent 3+ years in an orphanage, receiving no love and minimal care - maybe life would be better.

I don't know.  I guess we'll never know.  But what a gift to be able to tell our son that his birth parents had great love for him.  That despite 'abandoning' him, they tried so hard to make it work.  They tried so hard to fight against their society and their culture.  They tried so hard to keep him.

And they really, truly, absolutely loved him.

He was 'meant' to be theirs, and they tried so, so hard to make it work.  For that, we are forever grateful.

One Thing I Know For Sure: What a gift...


  1. You betcha he remembers! You should see Elijah's countenance change (for the better) when we skype with his mama. He looks a lot like his mama too...a lot. (We never saw photos of J's parents. :-() But, just in case someone reading this is thinking "Well, E just remembers because his parents visited him until the end." Maybe so...but after he had been home almost a YEAR, Shea's mama posted his picture on her blog. I showed Elijah and he got all excited and smiled. He pointed and said "Toe! Toe!" Shea's name in the orphanage was "Toma". I just about fell over. He just couldn't articulate any part of his name until then. AMAZING! So, yes, I think Carter remembers. They are very smart boys. :-)

  2. Ok this one made me cry!...But Thank GOD you and Jake found him!!!...he will never know what it feels like to go without Love again!!

  3. I so know what you mean. Dariya's parents visited her also. We know they tried all they could to care for her in their society and that they love her very much. We are thankful for the precious gift they gave us.

  4. What a beautiful entry Ashley. Your thoughts about his Mom are really precious -- it makes me really think about love, about not being able to do something you truly want to do, about society's expectations, about letting go, and about opening up. Beautiful thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Oh, Ashley...this made me cry...I love seeing your love for your precious boy but I love also seeing your love for his mother. I see Christ in you and it is beautiful...simply beautiful. Carter will never forget he was loved and continues to be loved...

  6. I don't think our little guy's family visited him, however, your post makes me wish I'd have taken the time to look more closely as the doctor paged past his mom's photo in his medical record. The glimpse I saw was of a very beautiful young lady. I'm hoping I get a second shot at seeing her photo when we return for court. Thanks for making me think about this aspect more.

  7. A beautiful post about a beautiful little boy. This made me cry. Thank you for sharing your story.

  8. This sentiments my feelings a lot, you are very blessed to have the information you do about his family, what a gift for him to have someday. I will look at Blake's abandonment papers sometimes and consider burning them to pieces because I never wnat him to feel like he wasn't loved at any point in his life, but then again, like you say, it is also the only way he was to become our son and a part of our family...and for that I'm grateful!

  9. There are endless emotional roller coasters we adoptive parents have to go through! You've stated this one so beautifully Ashley. Pierce our hearts indeed.


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