Wednesday, July 24, 2013

When There Aren't Any Pictures

     It seems all eyes are on the royal baby these days, mine included. The new Prince George definitely has had more than his share of the limelight and paparazzi .....just in the first 24 hours of his life. This could be the most photographed baby in history, I dare say, and rightly so. Watching all those photographers camp out for days on end just to catch a glimpse of the new Prince got me to thinking.
     Babies SHOULD be photographed....a lot. These are precious days not to be missed and capturing the memory is paramount both for the parent and the child to reflect upon in later years. Having pictures  displayed of your children shows them the place they have in your family. It's as if they know by seeing  images of themselves sitting on the coffee table that they belong this family. They are important.
     What do you do when you don't have those pictures? One of our daughters has NOT EVEN ONE photo of herself before the age of 8 months. When we got her, the first thing we did was have her portrait taken. It is hanging on my bedroom wall. She will never know what she looked like as a newborn, or the early months. She lived in 6 different homes before she came to us and for whatever reason, there are no pictures and no way to get any. Nothing of her having 'tummy time', her first smile,  nothing of her learning to sit up, or learning to crawl.  It makes me incredibly sad. I feel like a chunk of her life is missing..........a section she can never recover. Oh yes, she asks questions all the time. She loves to pour over the pictures in her scrapbook that we took starting the moment she came into our house.... and in her memory box......and she does ask what she looked like when she was born. I have to tell her, "I don't know." adoptive parenting dilemma. I call them raw, open-wound moments. These are things we cannot fix.
     Mei Mei, who lived her first year in a tiny orphanage in south-central China.....has two pictures from her first year. Her intake picture taken the day she was found.....and her referral picture taken at around 5 months. That's it. Again.....she has nothing tangible to look back through when she is older to show herself what baby Mei Mei was like. In alot of ways, I feel like she drew the better straw here because she at least has 2 pictures from her first year. This child will never know how much she weighed at birth. We simply don't have that information. This is another dilemma, as our family recently had a new baby join the family (and another due any day!!) and birth weight is a hot topic. She's the only one in our entire family that doesn't know her birth weight. Hard. Raw. Open wound. These issues are difficult, but the picture really, really gets to me.
     So what do we do? We love them. We can't go back and make pictures magically appear, but we can take them now.....and we can love on the person they are now. They are a part of us. They are important.......and their pictures are on the coffee table now,  where they can see them all day.....everyday.....hopefully healing those raw wounds.

1 comment:

  1. As Mike once said, you can't change the past, but you can make a better past for your future starting right now. God bless you for doing that with your girls.