Tuesday, November 26, 2013

a beautiful soul

Paige wrote this after a day serving as a translator more than a year ago, she finally broke down (read: under intense pressure) to allow us to post it.


a beautiful soul, written by paige 

Sometimes life gets so busy that I forget to see the good in people. 

Admitting that is embarrassing, because I sometimes allow things that do not matter at all to hinder my ability to truly see beautiful people. 

Today, I met a beautiful person; I met a woman with a beautiful soul.

She was sitting and waiting for her turn to enter into the dentists office...Waiting and waiting, as we often do in this country. 

As I was standing next to her, she looked up and said that she had been there since morning, and needed to get home to her children. This woman seemed to be at least 60, it was clear she had a few years of hard life under her belt. Curious, I asked her about her children. She told me she had seven children. We shared a little moment over the fact that she has seven children, and that I am one of seven kids. I asked her how old they were. She mentioned four older children, and three younger children. Because of my non-stop questions, she went on to explain that the last three were adopted. 

The oldest of her three adopted children is named Moses. Again, we shared a moment when we realized we both have a little boy named Moses near to our hearts. She explained that this little boy was abandoned in a toilet, and she went and pulled him out. We again shared a moment over our connection through abandonment. Moses has lived with her as her son since the moment she pulled him out. I asked her if Moses knows that he was abandoned. She said no, that he was too young and didn’t yet need to know the cruelty of this world. I admired her wisdom. Her second adopted child is the son of  her husband's mistress. The biological mother of this boy abandoned this little boy on the street as well. Knowing the connection her husband had to the child, people nearby brought the little boy to her; it seems many know of her beautiful heart. She willingly took him in as her son. The third adoption was that of a little girl who lost her mother in child birth. My new friend, with the beautiful heart, took her in as her daughter as well.

I admired her so much for the stories of adoption and pain and loss turned into service and love. I admired her also for seeing her children as equals. If I wouldn’t have kept the conversation going, and sought out information- I would have never known that three of her children were adopted. 

To so many people adoption seems to be a synonym for  “not real children/siblings,” or “charity cases”. None of those things were true for her though. These children were her children. They were just as much her children as her older four. She was so beautiful. 

Shortly after my exchange with the brave mother of seven, a woman on a short term mission team started asking me about myself and my family.  This is a confusing conversation for most people. I usually take a deep breath prior to answering. After asking how long I’ve lived in Haiti, how old I am, etc, the next question I often get is, “How many siblings do you have?” I answer, and say that I am one of seven. Each time, I get the same look. The "Wow!” look. It gets old after the first few times, because this is my family you’re “oh wowing” at, people. I get that we are weird, and different than most families, but still, come on, don’t act like I just told you that each of my siblings has extra limbs. Next, they ask how old my siblings are. I say, “23, 11,11,9,6,5” , without fail they ask if the 11 year-old siblings are twins. I answer and explain that no, they were adopted along with the six year old. Then, they get this “oh that makes sense” look and then comes the so you don’t really have seven siblings, because three are adopted comment. At times people have even verbally respond with something like — "oh so you have three real siblings?"  Also, "Do your adopted siblings travel with your family, or stay in Haiti?" 

Each of the questions seemed to aim at separating out my family by the adopted kids, and the non adopted kids. To them, there is some important difference to be noted. I don’t know the difference. I have six siblings, and each sibling is the same to me. I love each sibling with all of my heart, and would do just about anything for each of them. They also all each equally annoy me.. so clearly there is no difference between them.

I want to see beauty. I don't like that I don’t open my eyes up and see beautiful people every day. They are all around us. I met a beautiful soul today, and I’m so thankful that I did. She reminded me that it is more than possible to love and care for people that join our families by a less traditional route.  She reminded me of unconditional love. I hope people look at my siblings (all of them!) and see beauty too. I don’t appreciate people separating out my family, because really, nothing can separate us.


Angela said...

Thank you, Paige, for writing what I've wanted to say several times about my own family. I'll just say "ditto what she said!" and send you a virtual hug. :)

Marla Taviano said...

Thank you, Paige.

Cheryl Vanderwell said...

Thank you for allowing your parents to publish this Paige. Because I work with babies and families I often get asked how many kids I have and how old they are. They assume I had an 'oops' pregnancy with the ten year gap in my kids' ages. They also assume I have twins as I have two 12yo children for nine months of the year. Why do they make me feel like I have to explain everything? I guess it depends what kind of mood I am in if I want to educate people or just let them think what they want.

Thanks for reminding me my family is beautiful the way it is because it is MY family not because of or only limited to the way it became to be.

Angel The Alien said...

Hi! Just dropping by to let you know I gave you a Liebster award on my blog! If you enjoy that kind of thing, stop by http://diaryofanalien1.blogspot.com/2013/11/i-got-liebster-award-no-not-lobster.html to check it out!

Undivided Heart said...

beautiful. thanks for sharing your soul

Becky Dietz said...

Thank you.

Leslee Jaeger said...

We only have 5 kids and none the same ages, but get equally surprised looks and questions. My favorite was the woman asking if we were Mormon or Catholic!

sophiesara said...

Thanks Paige for this peek into your sweet, wise perspective. You are a beautiful young lady...with a beautiful soul yourself!

Shalom said...

My kids would echo your words. Thank-you.

Andrea said...

Dear Paige - You are a reflection of your wonderful family; your own luminous spirit shining out and multiplied by your family and your life's experiences. You have done, are doing, and will continue to do works of magical goodness on this Earth. I am thankful for you and your family. Love, Andrea in Vermont

Wendi said...

Such nice writing. I remember seeing adoptive families and what I thought of them. Now as the Mom of "one of those families" it is so not what I perceived. I also think once I owned the reality of the gift of being adopted into the family of God, and "felt" the reality of my adoption, I became you, the equal sibling of everyone in the family of God. And I no longer saw biology as my anchoring family tie, much like my boys who are growing up with brothers of different biology.
In response to hearing you have a family of 7 kids....I would have been guilty of the shocked face. The reason though is that I'm a wimpy Mom of 3 who would love the capacity to parent 7 but feel like I'm drowning as it is. So the look would come from the fear of putting myself in your Mom's place and my lack of ability in it verses a look reflecting a judgment on you as a family.
Thanks Paige and Tara