Christy, a recent volunteer and adoptive mama, has written this moving blog post following Reese's memorial service.
Reese's memorial service was last week. A little baby taken from this world so early. As guests to New Day, we attended the service even though we had not meet this little boy. I walked into the service thinking we were attending in order honor his life. If I am being honest, I was kinda attending to be polite to our gracious hosts who were obviously distraught over the loss of this little boy. Little did I know that I would leave the service absolutely wrecked.
Let me step back...As an adoptive mom of two children adopted via the SN process, I am familiar with caring for orphans. I am familiar with almost every need I come across. I know children pass away while waiting for their families. I advocate for these kids and I have consoled grieving adoptive parents after the loss of a child they have never met. I realize the importance of foster parents - both of my kids have visited their foster parents with me. My daughter talks of her foster sister, brother, and mother regularly. We are an open adoptive family. I thought I had my 'adoption awareness' bases covered. Apparently not.
Ok - back to yesterday - when I got to Reese's memorial service, I sat politely in the back of the room. I actually couldn't see the TV but I wanted to leave the prime seats for those that knew Reese. As it turns out, where I was seated faced Reese's two nannies. I sat for 45 minutes and watched these two woman become completely wrecked. I watched as they grieved a child. A child that they loved and cared for after surgeries. In the middle of the service, I had the 'aha' moment that I have somehow missed over the past 4 years. I realized the one important piece of the puzzle I was missing. My daughter's Ayi.
The people who held my daughter the day she was found sick at 3.5 pounds.
The ones that changed her meconium diapers during those first days of life.
The people that changed infected bandages to ensure my daughter was healed.
The staff who did their best and managed to succeed at keeping my daughter alive.
Those who cared about her enough to give her a chance.
The women who may have grieved when my daughter was finally well enough to get moved to foster care.
The person who I met briefly the day after gotcha. The person who I kinda brushed off as she tried to say goodbye to my daughter when we left the SWI tour.
How had I missed this? How had I not realized the importance of these woman? As adoptive parents, I think we too often hear of the nannies being overworked and not giving the 'correct' amount of attention to our kids. It's the nannies that are blamed when a child is under-fed or not held enough when, in reality, these woman work their butts off and are just put in a tough place. These woman are the only ones who are in a position to love our kids. They are the only ones our children have to miss them when they leave to be adopted. As adoptive parents, we need to honor these women. Day over day they come to work to care for our kids (who, lets be honest, can be super-needy and annoying at times) and they come back!! They come back even after they lose a child forever. They are resilient and amazing woman.
I hate that my awakening happened at Reese's memorial. But that is how life is, isn't it? You have to get wrecked in order to see what is right in front of you. I left the service, fell to the ground and balled my eyes out like a baby. I asked for forgiveness for not recognizing the blessing of my daughter's nannies. I thanked these women from the bottom of my heart and prayed they knew how thankful all of us adoptive parents truly are for the gifts they give us.