Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's Not Fair

I knew he would be sad. I knew he would grieve. I knew he would be confused and emotional and frustrated. What I didn't know was how angry he would be.

I expected him to be angry at me for taking him away from everyone and everything he had ever loved. He's not. But he is angry at me for a reason I never expected--for taking so long to come and get him.

Many kids repress their memories of life in the orphanage. It's a coping mechanism, one that draws a line between before and after; an electric fence that protects.

Some kids keep snapshots or let memories creep out in dreams.

And then some are like Vu. He talks about Vietnam every . single . day. His memories are as bright as a golden dragon--and as dark as a dung beetle. He was loved. He was also left. Over, and over, and over, again.

Vu was raised in the orphanage from the time he was a baby. He grew up with four other children, all the same age and for four years they slept together, ate together, played together. They were like siblings. And there were other children too, many living in foster care, but visiting the orphanage often enough to be close friends. There were babies and toddlers Vu loved--one of his favorite things to do was go play with the babies in the baby room.

And then Vietnam reopened bringing a tapestry of joy interwoven with grief. One by one Vu's beloved friends and babies left; piece by piece, his heart left too. The orphanage began to empty out leaving Vu feeling like the last kid to be chosen for the playground team.

His saddest memory was when Mr. Personality left. Vu tells me, "After he left every day, every day, I had to sleep ALL ALONE! And I was scared!" Vu rarely cries. Vu cries when he tells me this story. I cry too. I cry just writing this.

Vu tells me it's not fair. It's not fair he was left behind. It's not fair that everyone's mom came and his did not. My feeble explanations fall upon ears unable to understand, a mind too young to comprehend, a heart too broken with hurt and ultimately, words cannot explain what even I do not understand. What matters is the truth.

His friends had a Mommy.

He did not.

And it's not fair.


robandchristel said...

Oh Ann. You just powerfully put into words, the ache to be found. Vu is right. It's not fair. There is a part of us that cannot wait until Honour is speaking English and can express what her thoughts and experiences were like in the orphanage as well as her foster home. But the other part of us is hesitant because of exactly what you have shared here. Our hearts break when we think of how long Vu waited, and how long Honour waited, and how long children continue to wait, especially in Dong Nai. Oh God...bring these children home.


Thankfulmom said...

Ann - I am crying along with you. It is not fair that Vu was left behind or my Honeybee spent over eight years in her orphanage. How can it be that children suffer like this? But praise God that He does bring them home - I am so thankful for your children who have made it home to you, and my children who have made it home to me. I know you know this, but it is good that he can express these feelings to you.


Duda Family said...

Ann- Vu's words are so powerful and such a part of his healing. This is our biggest fear for our Hung - that he can't understand what is taking us so long. One day, our sons will know that we did everything we could to bring them home as soon as we could. Their nights of longing for their own forever family are over and they are safe.

Mary Li

Mrs. Deem said...

Ah, I remember reading this before. But, I needed to read it again! Thank you. Thank you. We're in the thick of it, and it is a precious gem to me to have people that have traveled before me.