Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thoughts on Shiloh's third birthday....

Shiloh's third birthday is this Thursday…her first birthday with us as her family…as her forever family. We have purchased a cake and will put candles on top signifying the two birthdays we have missed as well as a nice big number 3 for this year! I do not know if the orphanage had a second birthday party for Shiloh….as we got her file after her birthday (On the 18th of November last year). I know she was also taken care of by CHINA CARES prior to and after her first birthday and so I hope they made a big deal of it for her as well. Still, as we approach November 11th, I have to think about Shiloh's birth parents, especially her birthmother. We have no idea who they were and no idea of the exact reasons they did not keep her. One day Shiloh is going to be old enough to understand that she has birth parents somewhere in Northern China and I have thought long and hard about how I will need to answer the questions she may have about what happened to her. I have been lucky enough to gather a lot of information and pictures of her since her finding, but we really do not know anything about her first four days of life.
I have done a lot of reading about the issues that plague China when it comes to abandonment of infant daughters and sons, and so many reasons play a part in her being left on Minzhou Road in Baotou, Inner Mongolia-we do not know what time of day or if she was left in a box or basket or how long she was there before being found. We can only make assumptions of what might have happened. What brought Shiloh's birthparents to the point they had to make a decision to leave her, let her go, abandon her? Was it that Shiloh had been born with bilateral cleft lip and palate, never mind the heart and lung issues her birthparents must have been unaware of at the time? Was it the pressure to have one child…..one "healthy child", preferably male? Was it that they could never provide her with the medical care she would need to repair her lip and palate? Was she birthed to parents without a permit to have a child or to an unwed mother? Was she perhaps a second, third or even fourth daughter in a "one-child" policy country? So many things could have played a factor in the decision to leave her on November 14, 2007. The truth is that we may never know all the reasons or how things happened or what social and political pressures could cause birthparents to make such an incredibly hard decision. Some want to judge birthparents who could just up and abandon a child…..but I would like to find a way to celebrate the fact that Shiloh's birthparents must have placed Shiloh where she would be found…..where God knew eventually she would find her way to us.
I am a birthmother (and adoptive mother) and I cannot imagine what kind of courage and strength it takes to let go of someone you love as much as your children, hoping they find something you cannot provide, but knowing you leave them to an unknown fate. I can only think that this is an act that leaves a hole in your heart for the rest of your life. So I know as we come together with family and friends to celebrate with Shiloh, seven thousand miles away there are broken hearts who wonders what happened to the little baby girl born on November 11, 2007. Each year after Dakota's birthday, we have always let balloons go to our loved ones who have left before us and last year Dakota sent up the balloons for her little sister waiting in China. For Shiloh's birthday and all her future birthdays, we will release the balloons so we can pray for and remember her birthparents. I hope this will help Shiloh to grow up realizing that it is alright to be adopted, that a birthmother and a birthfather somewhere in northern China probably do think about her and hope she is well. I also hope that Shiloh will find pride in that maybe her smile and skin tone came from her birthmother and maybe her eyes and outgoing personality are like her birthfather and that it is perfectly alright to wonder about these things and to be proud of them and to ask questions even when there may be no answers. I have no doubts that this little girl will do big things one day making us all proud of her, but I hope she can see the bigger picture of God's plan in how her life has unfolded.


Brandi said...

Happy Birthday Shiloh!
We love you!

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

What a beautiful wonderful post, Kim! Well said!

Now to Shiloh:

Happy birthday to you;
(cha, cha, cha)
Happy birthday to you;
(cha, cha, cha)
Happy birthday, dear Shiloh;
Happy birthday, to you!
(cha, cha, cha)

Cha cha chas courtesy of Joy. :)

We pray blessings over Shiloh. I know God has great plans for her life and he knew exactly the family that would raise her to His glory!

Hugs and Blessings,
Tammy & the rest of our crew!