I start every morning with prayer. Once I come to the supplication portion of my prayer I pray for my family in this order: husband, Kai, Lok. I pray for my husband in areas X, Y, and Z. Then I pray for Kai in areas X, Y, and Z (which have changed greatly in the last 6 months). Then I pray for Lok and my prayer always begins with please prepare his heart. I’ve already stopped to have two little cry sessions while typing up this paragraph because I know the journey that his little heart is about to go on.
But I can truly only understand it from an outsiders point of view. He is not even 7 years old yet, but has already experienced more loss than most of us likely ever will. He’s experienced the loss of his biological family, loss of care takers, and loss of foster siblings. And in a few short months, he’ll lose his country, language, culture, foods, and everything familiar to him. Yet his biggest loss will be the loss of his foster parents whom have been his only constant for the past 4+ years. We just received an update on Lok and one of the questions we asked was,
Q: Does he have any fears about living in America?
A: Will miss foster family
The answer broke me. It was not what I expected from that question. My heart absolutely breaks knowing that he is going to have to experience that type of loss! Everything in my being wants to hop on a plane to China yesterday and bring him home to be with us. We already love him so much and Kai is so excited to have a big brother. He is going to be gaining so much, but he will be losing an equal amount. I know that the transition for Lok is going to be difficult, it has to be. How could it not?
I’m already preparing myself for the grieving episodes. I’m prepared to firmly hug and hold a grieving child as he fails wildly in my arms, while pinching, biting, hitting, and punching me. I’m prepared to have bruises on my nose a time or two from being head butted because I’ll refuse to let him go when I know that what he needs most is for me to hang on to him. I’m prepared for him to yell a few choice words in Mandarin at me out of frustration. Then, as his English improves, I’m prepared to hear “I don’t love you, Mama. I want to go home!”. I’m prepared for days that will leave my husband and me emotionally dead with no where else to turn to but the cross. I’m prepared for these days because I have already experienced them with Kai. These are not fun days. I’m prepared for them, but I don’t anxiously anticipate them. But I’m a realist, I know that they’ll come and I won’t shy away from them.
I want Lok to know that it is perfectly acceptable to miss his foster family. I want to cry with him when homesickness strikes him. I want to hold him when everything about his new homeland scares him. But I also want to rejoice with him when he swims across the pool for the first time. I want to cheer for him when he writes his name for the first time. I want to cry happy mama tears when I see him and Kai play in their room for the first time. I want him to always know that it is okay to share every emotion that he feels with me. I don’t want him to worry about seeming silly or hurting my (our) feelings. There will be loss and it needs to be dealt with. I want to experience all of his life with him as his forever mama. I’ve already lost 7 years!
Sweet boy, the road ahead of you will be hard. I know that you’ll have great days and sad days. I know that you’ll miss the only home you’ve known. I know that you’ll miss your foster mama’s cooking. I know that you’ll miss your Chinese cartoons. I know that you’ll miss your dog, Huang. But I know that you will be a loved son. I know that you will be an adored big brother. I know that you’ll be a spoiled grandson, nephew, and cousin. I know that you’ll be taught the love of Christ and the goodness of the gospel. And I pray that one day you’ll feel that, through all the loss, you gained so much. And I pray that the current early morning prayers of your anxious mama are already working on your heart.