Family asks. Friends ask. Acquaintances ask. Strangers asks.
Look into the eyes of this child.
An orphan. Lost.
And then look into the eyes of this child.
A loved, treasured, baby girl.
We visited Maryn's orphanage just four days after she was placed into our arms. I held Maryn close to me during the visit. Her reactions were blank. She definitely didn't smile at the caregivers. She didn't cry either. She was really unmoved by the experience. As we were leaving, though, that changed. We were invited to go and see the playroom she spent time in each day. We walked into the room and I placed Maryn on the floor. My thought was that she would run free, play with familiar toys and I was hoping to see a smile that wasn't forced. In the four days she had been with us, we had not really seen her walk from one place to another and play with toys. We tried to get her to walk across the room and interact but she enjoyed sitting and playing with a few toys in once place. Her smiles were few and far between. She did not smile without a lot of effort on our part and hers as well - it wasn't her norm. She didn't really cry either unless Ryan came too close or I left the room. I placed Maryn in the middle of the room thinking she would walk over to a favorite toy and begin to play. After all, this room was what was familiar. The smell was familiar. The people were familiar.
She stood still.
She had a blank stare.
The nanny came in, her nanny, the one who had been with her on Gotcha Day. The nanny was animated and looked genuinely happy to see Maryn.
Maryn just stared at her as if she was searching for an answer.
She was empty.
The change is profound. If you have met Maryn during our months at home, then you are well aware that this child is not the same child we met in China. Maryn smiles easily. She laughs. She runs. She giggles. She kisses. She hugs. She plays freely. She is so happy. She is loved and adored!
For the family members who ask "why," I pray they see the answer in her sweet face.
For the friends who ask "why," I pray they are touched by her story.
For the acquaintances who ask "why," I pray they seek to learn more about adoption.
For the strangers who ask "why," well, my cynical answer to them is "Why NOT?"