Reading about your adopted child's ongoing grieving process and living through it, are two entirely different things. As time passes, you forget about it because everything is going "normally." Sure, you've adopted some more kids, but nothing out of the ordinary. If you're like us, that happens all the time.
But there's the rub. It's not the adding of the children. It's the adding of the stories. Every child's story is different. And then you're reminded that with age comes understanding.
Svetlana is feeling her story quite a bit right now. She definitely understands it on a more advanced level. There are so very many unknowns. She looks at Mel, Hanna and Biruk and their stories, and she grieves what she does not and will never know. She knows how it feels to not know her first mother (this is big), her first country, first language, who she would have been, who she looks like, who she takes after, etc. All of these experiences that she didn't have. She sees that they know all of these things, and it hurts.
I hold her while she cries. I imagine with her that she has her 1st mother's eyes and hair. We pretend she sings with the same pure sweet voice that Svetlana has. Maybe her teeth grew in the same way. We take turns inventing similarities. I do my best to sympathize with her first mother and the choices she made.
I tell her that I do not know why God has made this a part of her story, but I comfort her with this knowledge from the bible:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
We agree that proof of these verses is evident in her life. God has given her hope and a future, he has worked her story together for her good.
(In this life that God has given me to live, I don't know who these verses apply to more than my adopted children. I see it played out in every conversation we have. Thank you Lord for your comfort.)
While Svetlana is doing some heavy thinking, she is not at the point that she can recognize the other side of this coin. She does not grasp that there is pain that comes with knowing all of these answers.
While I know that this pain exists, I do not know it yet either, but I will find out as I comfort Mel and Biruk and Hanna as they seek my comfort when they grieve.