Friday

I have the best possible news to report: we got a call from the hospital today - Q's Hep C test came back negative.

Needless to say, the relief is bigger than any words. After a week of dark days, I can't tell you how it feels to be able to look at that happy little face and not feel like crying inside.

I would be jumping and crowing with joy were it not for the fact that there are others out there who have not had good news. No report yet as to how many tests have come back positive since the screening began here in Denver, but I know that if I were one of those people (or their loved ones) consigned to a lifetime with this disease thanks to the thoughtless actions of an addict, I would want those who were luckier to show respect. So while my joy for the sake of our daughter is bigger than the universe right now, I still feel the shock of those lives that have been affected by this nightmare.

I feel really at a loss for words to express how grateful I am for the health of our happy, joyful, vigorous, loving child. Instead I'm posting this picture from our adoption week in Guangzhou. Some will recognize this as the infamous "red couch" at the White Swan hotel, where adoptive parents have their first family photo taken with their new child. Of course, we were all a little shell-shocked at this point, not least of all (I can only imagine) little Q. As new parents, no matter how well-prepared and schooled, it isn't easy to wrap your mind around the fact of having a stranger's child placed in your arms, of becoming, in the matter of an instant, a parent to a child that you did not grow in your own womb.

Imagine, then, how much more difficult to be that child, handed to a pair of strangers who look, smell and dress unlike anyone you've ever seen before, snatched from everything that is familiar to you and those people who have cared for you, and carried halfway around the world, to a place where nothing tastes, sounds, smells or looks the same. I can think of it as feeling like some sort of alien abduction.

And yet....the child in this picture, with her then-unrepaired cleft lip and palate, had just been given a second chance. Where her birth parents had been unable or unwilling to keep her, she was given a second set of parents - two people who love her more deeply than life itself, who dote on her, who can't tear their eyes away from her, whose lives revolve around her. Where she was born with a physical condition that would have made life extremely difficult for her in her own country, she was given an opportunity at the best surgereons, the best therapists, the best education. Where she had spent the first 11 months of her life flat on her back in a crib, with limited nutrition and meager resources (though it must be said that she had it better than some, and she did at least have some loving caretakers to help make her into the trusting, joyful child that she is now), she now has the world at her feet - hiking, traveling, swimming, horseback riding, good food (all this, at least, provided the economy doesn't get much worse!) and most of all a family who loves her profusely.

Here in this picture is a child on the brink of a second chance at life. I am so glad that, in giving her that chance, we did not inadvertently expose her to a disease that might have affected her for a lifetime. I don't know how I would have lived with that weight of guilt, albeit unwitting.

My heart is with those who were not so lucky, and as one friend said recently, the world will always be a little darker now that we have come so close to something as nightmarish as this. It will be a challenge not to be fearful after what we've seen this past week. That said, the world will also always be a little brighter, thanks to the gift of this one child's healthy life.

I need to send out a great big "thank you" to all of you who sent such beautiful sentiments and notes. I apologize if I wasn't able to respond in kind, but I've been half blind with worry for the past week, and a lot has gotten away from me. Just know that all that support and positive sentiment from around the world really held us aloft during an incredibly difficult time, and I'm so grateful.

19 comments:

Amelia said...

SO GLAD to hear of the wonderful news. Yeah! Q is very lucky AND blessed to have you as her parents. Many more blessings to come to you and your family. :)

walternatives said...

I've been waiting to hear The Best Possible News from you. With love to you and your vibrant child.

FDChief said...

And as you so thoughtfully put it in this post - there is hope to make a candle in the darkness, the hope that comes with loving and giving, with the unsolicited kindness of others.

I'm so glad that little QQ's candle is undimmed, and that:

"Thus is the joyous bonfire made
When Love's strong arts
Of such noble individual parts
Makes one fire of four inflaming eyes
And of two loving hearts."


J. Donne

hiki said...

I'm very happy with the news! I always enjoy seeing Q's cute little happy face, she kind of reminds me of my loving neice who now lives out of tokyo.

Jeanne-ming said...

Relief, joy, and happiness. I will paint this weekend with a lifted heart.
So glad to see you again.

flyinamber said...

wonderful news!I'm so glad that's everything is OK!
looking for beautiful new photos and interesting posts from you!

MotherMotherOcean said...

I am glad the news for you is good.

Tina said...

Yay!!! I'm so glad!!! this is wonderful news!

Tina Tarnoff said...

I'm so happy Q is all right, I was thrilled to see you posted, as that somehow meant that it was good news. I had tears of joy while reading this, tears of joy for little Q who was given a gift that is you and your husband. Much love and big hugs to Q.

Arlini said...

nice blog =)

akka b. said...

I just want to say how MUCH your words have touched my heart. You must have been crying as you were writing this very moving piece because it has passed right through the screen and now tears roll down my own cheeks. My heart is moved. There is humanity in your words and the tenderness of true love.

Q - is one VERY lucky child.

And you are doing so much good by sharing your story with others.

Thank You.

rosemary said...

My relief for your precious baby is palpable. I loved the picture from the White Swan. I don't follow Chinese Adoption very closely so I haven't seen one of those before.

lovepics said...

MAIA JUST I'M SO HAPPY!!!

Geisslein said...

I am SO HAPPY for you! Great news! And welcome back ;o)
hugs from germany, geisslein

MODsquad said...

Oh, that is such good news!! So happy to hear! I've been keeping you all on my mind.

alliot said...

Iza and I are so glad to hear this. We miss QQ !!
And, I want to express my deepest thankfulness to your love embracing the daughter of China. As a Chinese and the mother of a Chinese girl in the modern society of HK, we DO still experience the inequality between boys and girls in our own families which have deep rooted traditional thoughts...
It's an intricate emotional association... your love to QQ secures another soul. Thanks!!!

Charlie said...

Words cannot express my relief for you and your family. It must have been terrifying for you and I am saddened for those that were affected. Thank you so much for the update and big hug to you all.

Kate Neckel said...

Such wonderful news-so grateful that she's okay!

disa said...
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