Wednesday, March 28, 2012

progress…and the lingering pain

Today is March 28.  7 years ago, a baby boy, approximately 9 weeks of age, was left here on these steps in the dark of night:

yunyang steps

Every year since then, late March has been hellish in his world.  Night terrors, screaming and thrashing, sobbing “don’t leave me here!”, and general fearfulness have marked our nights.  And days.  Then, as quickly as they come on, they subside again.  They ALWAYS correspond to March 28 and his abandonment.  This year, we’re (finally) seeing major progress!  Our sweet tempered little boy has remained so, even though we are now almost totally through March.  No night terrors.  No screaming or thrashing or clawing at the sheets.  No sobbing and crying.  No fear of being left.  Just calm ordinary days for a typical 7 year old boy.  We are thrilled to see this horror lose some intensity!

Surprisingly, though, it comes with a sense of loss.  Not for him, but for me.  I have spent countless sleepless nights over the last 6 1/2 years praying for a woman I will likely never meet.  My heart aches for her, especially this time of year.  Finally, this year, with the subsiding of the nighttime issues, I don’t always remember to pray for her.  It hit me yesterday—he’s so much ‘my'’ son that sometimes now I forget about her.  Today I am feeling very sad for her.  Does she think about him?  Does she wonder how he’s doing?  Does she even know he was left at the orphanage?  Or was that something done by someone else in the family?   How I long to assure her that he’s charming and delightful.  Curious.  Smart as a whip.  Coordinated and athletic.  Darling.  Tiny and tenacious.  Tenderhearted and compassionate.  And so very VERY loved.  He is the apple of his big brother’s eye, and his big sisters’ darling.   He’s playing spring basketball right now, all 47 inches and 43 pounds of him.  He’s the littlest on the team, but one of the most coordinated.   It will be fun to see him play his first ever game on Saturday.

I have the privilege of having this delightful child with me now.  For this, I am eternally grateful.  I hope that I don’t become complacent and forget the sacrifice made by an unknown mom across the ocean.  She deserves better.  She gave him life.  I want to honor that, to recognize that. 

Father, thank you for the little boys You have graced our lives with.  We remember their China parents and the sacrifices they have made.  We ask for Your comfort and Your touch in their lives, Your peace, and Your assurance that their sons are healthy and happy, growing and thriving.  We ask especially that You would draw them to You so that someday we can rejoice together over these two children, loved on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.  Thank you for Your faithfulness to them and to the China moms and China dads from their lives.   We ask these things with grateful hearts.  Amen.


  1. This brought tears to my eyes. We are blessed to live in a country and society that doesn't force or encourage such actions (for the most part). I've always felt for those 'disallowed' to have more than 1 child, and for those 'less-desired' babies. It's heartbreaking. So happy for your family and him that you have each other... and so happy he's less terrified and more secure this year.

  2. It is always hard for me to spend much time thinking about Rachel's beginnings - about the woman who gave birth to her. But you are right, it is so important to remember the birth moms of our precious children.
    I'm glad to hear that Ryan is doing so much better this year!