Friday, April 24, 2009

Special ones come from the heart....

They were a family of 3. Two of them and their son.

Years passed, and there were signs that there would be another member joining the family. One fine day a baby appeared on the scene. All was well. At least all appeared well. But it was not to be. And within two months, they were back to being a family of 3 again, immeasurably impoverished in a world where children and joy are synonymous.

Years passed, and the older child waited. Ignorant of the limitations of physiology.

And so they decided to adopt. A little girl. Except, now that the son was about 11, she needed to be at least three, so that you didn't run the risk of suddenly having 3 adults and one child in the house within a few years.

She came in like a cheerful ray of sunshine. They had not heard her speak. She would just nod and smile and hum to herself. There was no apprehension, just a childlike confidence, stemming from listening to the caretakers (at the orphanage she was from), telling all, that she would be going to her Mom and Dad ; and here she was.

Turns out, that children who have had to "grow up" by themselves, without anyone talking to them as babies, playing with them, throwing them up in the air, and then catching them back with a whoop, often withdraw into themselves. You see, food, clothing and shelter, are never the only requirements. She was three, and chances are she had had her share of isolation in her time. And she had dealt with it, in her own childlike way.

The day she became part of the family , was the day they heard her point to a lady on TV, (who was reading the news, whose hairstyle vaguely resembled Mom's ), and say "Aai !" in a ringing confident voice.

And she hasn't stopped talking ever since.

An active little girl, she got enthused by little things , such as bringing out her new frocks and storybooks and toys from her closets to show everyone. When she started school, she wanted a schoolbag exactly like her brother's, and it didnt matter if he was in 10th grade and needed to carry a lot more stuff.


By and by she got into sports, in particular swimming. She swam because she loved to swim. You could get her to do all kinds of homework etc, under the threat of grounding the swimming. She was a bit on the darker side, and when children unwittingly teased her about being a dark sister of a fair brother, she turned up her nose at them, saying , maybe they themselves were green. (They probably were , green, with envy).

There came a time when studies started taking up more time. And the swimming started taking a back seat.

And one day they found out, that she was not doing as well they thought in school. Maths and Science was a problem. She rebelled against what she thought was totally pointless learning. Geometry was a bummer. But give her a book on Origami. At eight years of age, she looked at such a book, and a single perusal of folding patterns was enough to motivate her to memorise the various steps to coming up with a peacock with dancing steps, or a bird with moving wings.

The girl took up Open Schooling. You could choose your subjects, some vocational, but rules were rules and were to be followed strictly. You just took your own time appearing for the tests. There were NO grades in class.

But something else had happened while in her old school.Some of her friends had started commenting, unable to counter her popularity as a sportsperson. Unwise comments about her origin, sowed some seeds of doubt. But the girl was so confident of her family, that she let the thoughts slip away. Teenage beckoned, and the ensuing personality transformations. Some rebellion, some anger. She would clam shut when angry about her studies. her eyes would almost send out laser beams of anger as she endeavoured to deal with , what she considered , folks ganging up against her. Her friends, by whispering rumours, her teachers, by implying hat she was no good in the prescribed level of studies , and her parents, by looking troubled, every time her schoolwork came up .

And one day, her father started a story around the dinner table. The story about a little girl who came to the house, and did all these wonderful things, that lit up the house with a sense of childhood fun and wonder. She came because Mom had a problem. About having a baby. A medical reason. And she was the answer to all the prayers to God. The story continued over two days, and she looked forward to it, although her father was sure she knew what this was all about. She learnt she was the high point for the three of them, a favourite child and favourite sister of an indulgent brother. And she absorbed all these strengths. She belonged here.

This was her introduction to the concept of adoption. She thought the whole idea rocked. That year and subsequently every Divali, she went with the family with Divali sweets and gifts for the children at the orphanage; and the caretaker ladies there were absolutely thrilled to bits about her. They had held her as a baby, and here she was; a confident young teenager, very comfortable with who she was, reassured by her place in the family, surrounded by indulgent father, mother,brother and grandparents.

Today, this little girl has almost finished college. She has discovered boys.. She worries about her weight, spends hours agonising about some minor eruption on the skin on her face, and her favourite peoples' list, family wise, currently has in descending order of popularity, her brother, her father,and lastly, her mother .....

Her folks were once invited for the inauguration of some new thing at the college library. The librarian is a very perceptive wonderful lady. The girl swam for her college in her first year, and got medals. So everyone knows her; she stood next to her Mom and Dad , sort of itching to get away to the refreshments , but still restrained by something the Librarian lady was saying.

The librarian, turned to her Mom, then turned to her , and said, "You know, you even smile like your Mom !"

Her face lit up. She has a wonderful smile , much nicer than her Mom's. Her eyes crinkled, her smile couldn't get any wider, and the Librarian lady indulgently waved her away in the direction of her friends, where a pizza was in the process of being devoured.

And her mother looked on. And silently remembered something she had told her daughter when they talked about babies and stuff as puberty loomed on the horizon.

Some children came from the womb.

And some children, special ones, came from the heart....

69 comments:

  1. A post that truly touched my heart. You have a wonderful ability to go straight to the heart and then to use the head to explain it all so lucidly.

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  2. Oh my this was beautiful. Just beautiful. I hope you win. Can we vote? Once again you got my tears going...you have a gift hope you know that.

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  3. BEAUTIFUL....that's all i want to say!
    You've touched me deep inside.
    Thanks for a lovely lovely story..

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  4. I've known cases where adopted daughters act difficult in their adoloscent and post adoloscent age and parents did not know how to handle them.Your story was beautiful and different.I was touched.BTW thanks for your recipe.

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  5. Beautiful. I had no idea... of why the adoption.

    Galaa daatun aalaa. And just in time, I have tagged you with a similar meme.

    priya.
    p.s. I hope you are feeling better after your Staph infection. take care.

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  6. What a beautiful story and so true. the importance of love, belonging, and interaction is so important in growing up and true of all animals

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  7. I remember reading about your daughter a while ago when you blogged about her and I hope that this post gets you the prize or honour that you deserve.

    It's a lovely story and brought back memories for me too. My two sons were adopted - they were both small babies when we were given them though. They are now 35 and 30 years old and between them have four children.

    I was unable to have children due to a health problem - I couldn't envisage being married and not have children and have been soooo lucky to have been given the opportunity of raising my boys.

    The adoption laws in this country have been changed and allow for children to trace their natural parents and are in face encouraged to do so.... I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or not. What do you think ?

    Cheers for now Kate x.

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  8. This is such a powerful narration. And the depth and the wonder of love just flew from the monitor !

    I am both moved and touched. That these are indeed possible !

    Thank you for a wonderful post. I hope the prize comes your way too. Even though, i am not sure how much that matters.

    What matters is what came from the heart. And that is there for all to see !

    :)

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  9. Ugich, I loved your story. Your husband and you were so wise as you dealt with the problems adopted children encounter.

    I remember from a previous post how you helped your daughter deal with the cruelty of children over her being darker. To now know that your husband was equally wise in helping her to feel very wanted and cherished is just beautiful.

    She is lucky to have such understanding parents.

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  10. Sucharita Thank you.

    Lilly Thank you. Dont know about the voting stuff. They are supposed to email us and stuff. I will keep you updated on that . But I already have the prize. I live with her ...:-)

    SGD Thank you.

    HHG Thank you. Did u see ur gmail ? had sent a msg about the bloggers lunch....and Happy Chunnda making...

    Priya One of life's beautiful experiences. Changes your perspective about so many things we take for granted in life.

    Rain Thank you

    Kate What a wonderful story about your sons , and I am so happy to have met you....Our societies are different, with different customs, but I guess mothers and children the world over remain the same .....

    Kavi Thank you. Like I told Lilly above, when you actually live with the "prize". everything else pales into insignificance. But thank you for the wishes..

    Darlene Thank you. You know, a lot of "counselling" types keep recommending that you tell your child about their adoption ASAP. But what actually matters is how mature your child is. I dont mean that the child should be able to intellectually analyze and stuff. But only the parents know their child best. In our case, she was a bit late maturing, and thats why we told her when we did. Luckliy it has worked...

    Koel Thank you.

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  11. I wish that all adopted children would have such sensitive parents. Indeed a lovely story Suranga.
    June in Oz

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  12. Was this story about your adopted daughter? If so, I am glad I got to know you for the wonderful person you are.Yes adopted children come from the heart.Both of you are lucky to have each other.No I did not check my gmail.I'll do so soon.

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  13. Beautifully written....you should write a book; you have such a way of touching people's hearts...
    xx

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  14. June, HHG,Braja Thank you for the kind words...

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  15. This is beautiful :) you are lucky to have youray of sunshine..and she is lucky to have u as her mom :)

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  16. Sujatha Gulp. Swallow. Hugs again. Thank you.

    Mimi Its such a sunny world ! Thank you....

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  17. Roshni thank you. Hope you voted .....the last day is May 4. Its on my latest post

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  18. I voted and I will go round to Des' later and make sure he casts a vote to, after I read your story!!

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  19. got here through Lily, your story is so real and heartwarming... you do deserve to be voted=)

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  20. Such a wonderfull story. Truly touched my heart. Your daughter is very lucky to have a wonderfull family.

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  21. Amazing. Such truth lies in that statement "And some children, special ones, came from the heart....."

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  22. Rachel A very heartfelt "Thank you" for reading and voting for me ... I just saw you have many blogs.....will certainly stop by soon !

    Kirtida ....(Yes, And we are very lucky to have her !....) Thank you very much for reading ....appreciate it !

    Kruti Hi ! Great to see your comments....thank you so much.

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  23. I couldn't stop my tears when I read this - the most beautiful blog post I have read so far. I voted for this post not just because you are one of my favorite bloggers but because this is a truly wonderful post.
    Hugs to your daughter for bringing so much joy to you all.

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  24. You go straight to the heart with your simple yet so powerfully touching narrative..Indeed, both you and your daughter are lucky to have each other. Just love you for this particular writing...

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  25. Usha Thank you. Hugs gratefully transmitted, and accepted ....Thank you for voting. It is so wonderful to realize that I have so many friends, and my daughter, so many wellwishers...One feels truly blessed .

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  26. jaya jha Thank you....please fwd the blog to friends and ask them to vote if they like it....

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  27. Knowing you and your family has been a blessing in my life. With your gentle caring, compassion and common sense concern for the many people around you, it naturally follows that you are a safe harbor and a guiding light for your daughter. Raising children has many challenges, but your story shows that challenges are not important when we realize that each child is a special gift. You've got my vote!

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  28. That was a real heartwarming story...Was just blownaway by the ending note...Keep it up...

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  29. Surangaji
    This is a blog which whoever may read shall touch the heart. But I would like to point out some truth that I overheard from my scientist friend. We nuture inside our mind two things. The mental characters that we inherit through genes and the qualties that we adopt from the surroundings. The characters obtained through gene blossoms more if a matching environment follows it. Onthe other hand if the genel qualities gets supressed and behaves as a follwup of surroundingh environment which is opposite to genal quality. Let us remmber the story of Wolfboy Ramu who although a human was broght up by wolves and behaved like any other wolf. But when he is brought back to human environment after some months of initial inertia of surroundings started becoming a human again.

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  30. Pradipji Thank you for your very insightful comments.

    Actually, the scientists are theorizing about something, that one ends up learning through an experience such as mine, without realizing it. When you hear it is some fancy theory, it intimidates you. When you live and learn it, it is nicer, and more interesting.....

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  31. Dear Ugich,

    Ageless has spoken a lot about your posts, and this is the first time am visiting your blog...

    It is such a beautiful post.

    I voted for you in the contest.And you know what? even if your post doesnt get those truckloads of votes which most ppl seem to be clamouring for,you have truly won this contest for me....

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  32. Akila Thank you for stopping by , your votes, and your wonderful sentiments. I feel so people-rich.....

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  33. Very beautiful post, especially because its so true.

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  34. What a beautiful story!! Your daughter is sure extremely lucky to have such a loving family!

    I was adopted too and am blessed and eternally grateful to have parents and siblings who love and support me. It has made me who I am today! I am going to vote for you, hope you win, you deserve it!

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  35. Beautiful post.

    Yo have already won the contest in which a lot of people don't even paricipate.

    I will vote for you.

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  36. writerzblock Thank you.

    Sonia Thank you. Will be checking out your blog soon....

    Ankit Thank you for the kind words and for voting....

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  37. That is the most most most wonderful post... its so sensitive and so heart warming.. !

    I voted for you before I read this article...

    but after reading this ... I think I should vote a couple of times again... I ll do it.. !!

    hey this is a really beautiful description... and like you said.. some relationships come from the heart !!!!

    really touching !

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  38. And I forgot to say - I can totally relate to your daughter's elation when someone says - your smile is just like your mothers! I love it when anyone says I take after my Mom or Dad - its soothing and reiterates that I am theirs..(its complicated, I know I am theirs but still need that validation once in a while) :) Thanks for checking out my blog, I am a newbie at this and just needed some place to write all those things which I would never share with friends/family.

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  39. hitch writer Thank you. But i dont think you can vote more than once. And you should not. The system will not allow duplicate votes....

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  40. Beautifully narrated. seemed like a fairy tale to me :)
    Now I am convinced that fairy tales are sometimes for real too....

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  41. Hi! came here from Usha's.
    Really touching!! wish more people open up to adopt children.

    Voted for u!

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  42. You are the best and you have my vote!

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  43. This was just so touching and so beautiful.

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  44. G, Pravin, Joy, Dipali Thank you so much. ....

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  45. Hey the score board at Indus Ladies is open for viewing. Do activate your network for the last few hours of voting.

    May the best Mom win

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  46. Agdi mann bharun gela majha ..khupas sundar lihla ahes tu ..I think in a writer's contest your entry will definately be top one.. thanks for visiting my blog and your comment.. Cheers!!!!!

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  47. tikulicious Thank you. Pan tujha marathi itka changla kasa ? Let me guess. Are you a girl from a marathi armed forces family, who married into a north Indian family ? ( I can see folks shaking their heads and saying, "hila nastya chaukashya kashala ?"...:-)

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  48. lol ..majhi aai puneri ahe g.. ani baba UP che hote. summer madhe ami punyala yeto pan ya varshi nahi yenar.my hubby is from Himachal .. national integration family lol keep touch.

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  49. My immediate urge was to ask you ki tujhya aaicha mahercha adnaav kai ? :-) There is always a chance I know someone related to you, or even someone we know in common maybe, as I grew up in Pune and consider myself a Pune person.

    But if you ever come down to Mumbai, let me know. We have a nice small bloggers group here that meets for lunch sometimes, and folks would be absolutely delighted to meet you. ...

    Cheers...

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  50. This is straight from the heart and so very touching!! You know, I would love to meet you and your daughter some day :-)

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  51. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  52. It was good to read this suranga...resonated with me. I know some families who have adopted older children and their experiences have been EXACTLY like yours.

    It feels wonderful to read about your family as you have written about each stage and each aspect. I esp liked your reply to Pradip. Intellectualising it is very different from living it. Sometimes all the 'experts' can be wrong and a parent with dedication, love, wisdom and compassion can overturn the solidest theories about child development/psychology on their head!

    All the same, it is the norm these days to advise adopting parents to start talking early with the child, because they otherwise tend to postpone it until the teenage years or even adult years or never. I believe it's good for a child to grow up with the knowledge rather than get a surprise at an older age. Still, I can see that your family handled it beautifully...there are many ways and different strategies to share this info and you did it with love, support and so much compassion. Kudos to you!

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  53. Starry Thank you very much for your detailed comment. I agree that one must tell the child about adoption, but the adoption agencies always keep mentioning specific ages and stuff. What really matters is how mature your child is. Everyone is different at a given age, and only the family of the child can really decide.

    I know cases where the child was too mature and things were difficult. The only thing we can do is to bring up a child with a very secure feeling of home and family. Works, most of the time....

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  54. Absolutely! As for adoption agencies...for them it's a job and a theory, for us it's our families and real life. :)

    and may I add...how mature and secure a child is depends on her/his parents too!

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  55. Loved this post. Way to go, Suranga! :-D

    And love that I get to listen to lovely music when I come to your blog.

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  56. I have got tears in my eyes and find it difficult to write here!

    I had read some of your posts earlier and now, am reading one by one!

    I admire you a lot!

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  57. Beautiful and very touching.It filled my eyes.Thanks Sandhya for sharing this post on your wall and thanks Suranga for writing this .

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  58. Wonderful to know about you and your family. During the last twelve years of my association with SAA, I have met many couples, while giving them pre adoption counselling we make it a point to tell them the importance of giving the child this particular knowledge, which you have done so beautifully. Wish all parents are as thoughtful and loving as you are.
    Please visit this
    http://rupascloset.blogspot.com/2011/09/finding-them-home.html

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  59. I hope to adopt a girl child one day and this post is a great motivation! Thanks.

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  60. Coming from someone who can sense life in a fluttering leaf, I am not surprised at all. I bow my head in deference to you, a river of humanity and humility.

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  61. USP, Thank you, but this bowing and all is getting very embarrassing ...... its just that one is guided by fate on to a path in life, and one tries to walk that path, the best one can . And at the end of the day, there is so much to learn from all our children...

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