I heard a statement on adoption today that was probably the most profound description I’ve ever heard. It came through one of those cheesy e-mails we sometimes get that are typically more annoying that informative. But this one gave me pause. Without further adieu:
Teacher Debbie Moon’s first graders were
discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture
had a different hair color than the other members. One of her
students suggested that he was adopted.
A little girl said, ‘I know all about
Adoption, I was adopted..’
‘What does it mean to be adopted?’, asked
‘It means’, said the girl, ‘that you grew
in your mommy’s heart instead of her tummy!’
I was particularly struck by this quote because parents abandoning their children is all too common here in Cambodia. For many Khmer fathers fatherhood doesn’t go beyond biologically spawning their seed. The situation is only slightly better in regards to motherhood. One doesn’t need to look far before coming across a situation where a mother has either abandoned her children to re-marry or worse– sell them off for their virgin rights. I’ve become more convinced than ever that true parenting only takes place when children grow inside someone’s heart–not just their tummy.