Mimi's birth certificate came in the mail today. Ya, I'm a little behind in the paperwork department. I think I started a mental strike from all paperwork the moment we arrived home from China.
There on her birth certificate, right next to China, under 4a, Place of Birth City/Town/State it was listed like a scarlet letter... Unknown.
So where were you born?
I don't know.
Tess and Jude were born in a hospital complete with hospital records and everything. Not that we've actually seen those records, but they're there and document specifically where and when they were born.
Mimi however was abandon as a newborn. Authorities then took a guess at her birth date. And we'll never know where she was actually born.
I also just applied for Mimi's Social Security card. In the process, the nice lady in the window asked me where Mimi was born.
She looked up from her computer screen, quizzically looking at me, not knowing herself what to put into the blank.
Most people just fill in "Unknown." I told her
A birthing table.
In the company of other women.
With all the unknowns in their stories and the years we've walked the path, I was surprised that this unknown took me by surprise. Maybe it was the fact that it was in print. And so official. Of course we walked into international special needs adoption knowing there would be unknowns. Outdated files. Missing information. Inaccurate data and translations. Lies. The process is inherently scary with no guarantees. Adoptive parent are left soul searching to determine the amount of risk they're willing to accept with lots and lots and lots of unknowns. Ultimately it takes a leap of faith.
I totally expected the unknowns to be hard, but not necessarily surprising. It's easier to face something head on when you know it's coming. But what do when you the unknowns blind side you? When I first saw Unknown written right there on her birth certificate I inhaled and held my breath a bit. And if it takes me by surprise, I wonder what unknowns will creep up to surprise her... and make her hold her breath.
I tell my kiddos all the time that if we knew all the answers it wouldn't be faith. Without the unknowns there would be no faith. We'd be left with proof and science. And all those unknowns in adoption and plain ol' life is just not how God intended it. He wants us to take that leap without all the facts.
And with the leap comes not perfection or all the answers, but the most amazing rewards!
|The gates of the center Mimi first arrived at as a newborn in 2010.|