Thursday, September 23, 2010

Erased

When we went to court on September 8 in support of our petition to adopt Masha and Autumn we knew that the decision had already been made and that this was more of a formality than anything else. But of course we were nervous that we might say something stupid and then the judge could slam down her gravel and throw us out with no babies.

On one side of the room sat the judge at her desk, along with the prosecutor and two jury members. On the other side we sat side-by-side in a row of chairs lined up against the wall, us, our translator, a social worker and the orphanage director. This judge was not the usual judge in this region and she rarely does international adoptions. She actually read our very long petition out loud in the courtroom.

And then came the questions... between my husband and I, we answered ten or so questions posed by the judge, prosecutor, and women of the jury. “How did you find these children?” “Why do you want more children when you already have so many children?” “Where do the children sleep and will your adopted children have the same privileges as your biological children?” “Why did you choose children with Down syndrome?”

Some questions are cut and dried, and easy to answer, like how our house is set up. Other questions are more complicated, like why do you want more children or why did you choose to adopt from Ukraine... And still other questions just can’t be answered fully and honestly if one wishes to remain tactful, like why Down syndrome...

But we got through it and the judge made a short speech, making things official. One of the things she said was that the names of Masha and Autumn’s biological parents would be erased from their birth certificates and that our names would replace them.

Erased. Their flesh and blood, deleted... wiped away forever in the records. From this day on I will be listed as the birth mother of Masha and Autumn. The only remnants of their past are their birth dates, places, and Masha’s first name. The rest has been erased. Their personal histories have been rewritten.

That struck me very hard. Their own mothers... not dead but erased, as if they never existed at all. And I, feeling somewhat like an imposter or perhaps even a thief, have stepped in and assumed them.

One day I will not feel like this. I will look at those certificates and know they are true. Because one day, Masha and Autumn will understand what a Mama is, and they will love me... their mama... with all their hearts, and this will prove to me that you cannot erase what never was.

14 comments:

Marianne said...

Beautiful post.

Lisa S. said...

I love you Sandra!! You are amazing and so blessed!!

Becca said...

Beautiful post. Congratulations to you on your two beautiful new additions to your family! By the way, how *did* you answer those "delicate" questions? I can only think of the tactless way that would surely get me kicked out of the courtroom!

Rochelle said...

Wow erased? I had never thought of that before. You are right though you can't erase what was never there to begin with.
Oh the joy they have with a mama especially one as awesome as you!

one_plustwins said...

so beautifully said.......HAPPY MAMA DAY from now until forever!!!!!

"Violet" said...

Oh how bittersweet. But Congratulations

Looking Up said...

Brings tears to my eyes....God always knew that you would be their mama.

Tracey Sharp said...

What a beautiful post! I too never thought of how that moment would be.....erased. I can only imagine how we will feel when its our turn with lil Kullen!

To Love Endlessly said...

brought me to tears. Love that last thought. beautiful!

L.L. Barkat said...

Darn you. I am crying.

G-Zell said...

Beautiful post!

The Sanchez Family said...

Yes....beautiful!

Mom2FourLittleEs said...

I agree....beautiful.

annie said...

Beautiful and powerful. Thank you for sharing this. As one who hopes to embark on my own adoption journey some day soon, it's nice to have an idea about what to expect. I know they are all different, but the emotions are good to prepare for! God bless you, your family, and your beautiful new babies.

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