Sunday, November 11, 2012

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

An avid reader has asked a question! I thought I would share and then maybe start taking other questions as well.  If you have a question, please ask.  I can't promise I will know the answer, but I can always make one up!

This response is a long one! Not all will be this long :-)

Dear Mrs. Munchkin,

How  have your feelings changed about Russia since you’ve been there?  Russia has always had that love/hate struggle in my heart.  Has that changed for you since you are there for longer than an ‘adoption vacation’ (with all the stresses related to that)?

An Avid Reader

Dear Avid,

The questions you raise are very good ones! It really has taken some time to think about my response.   I think back to the moment when The Mr told me Moscow was interested in him.  I could hear the excitement in his voice.  It scared me.  I was confronted at that very moment, without notice, as to the very questions you pose.  The Mr wanted to move forward with conversations, but he wanted my approval. I cried. I cried for a minute. In that minute all of the adoption frustrations, fears, anxieties, etc came flooding back. And then I stopped crying. I told him "ok".  I had to make a choice;my fear of the past or my husband. I chose my husband. How could I stand in his way if this was something he really felt like he needed to do? I never want him to resent me for holding him back.  Additionally, our son is from here.  how could i not give him this experience?! So, I put my big girl panties on and said ok.  And here we are.

It is interesting you mention love/hate. Of the many contradictions that exist in the world, the contrast between love and hate is perhaps the starkest. It is one that helps us value true love while understanding the ramifications of hatred.  Ironically, Russia is a country of contradictions! In fact, it is my observation many Russians have this feeling towards their own country.  So you are not alone! Feel warm and cozy?

But lets get to the point.  I know why you are asking these questions.  You, yourself, have adopted from Mother Russia. And my guess is, in some way, you are also wanting to ask "how in the world can you live in a place that played your heart like an ACDC song?!" Additionally, you cant move past the struggle in your heart. Am I right? Here's the the answer...Munchkin One. So your question "How have my feelings changed"? The answer...Munchkin One. Munchkin One changed my feelings.

What were my feelings then? I was excited and hopeful. Then I was sad and angry. Those turned into frustration, helplessness and depressed.  Once we saw and ultimately brought home Munchkin One I was happy, relieved and peaceful.  The short version is yes, I was mad and hurt. Frustrated and penniless. But here I had a little boy who was and is the biggest blessing to me.  He is such a joy giver.  I had to let all those feelings go for him.  How could I hate a place that gave me one of my greatest loves?  I let it go when he came home. I left most of those feelings behind in Russia.  What I did not leave behind was my anxiety with regard to the bureaucracy. This is what caused the cry when The Mr told me Moscow wanted to talk.

How has it changed? I don't know that it has....I left the feelings behind.  I had and have moved on. The Mr helped alleviate my anxie with bureaucracy, but you know what it hasn't changed. It is still 
here. How it has changed is how I have chosen to look at it.  I see thing differently now.  I see the 
paperwork. I see the three stamps that must accompany everything from visa paperwork to grocery 
receipts and I have adapted. It is what it is and I can't change it.  So, we change our thinking from 
asking "why, why is it this way?" to "how? How can I make this happen?" In reality, no one knows why here.  They don't! So, you are asking a question you will never get the answer to. 

I feel I am a pretty empathic person. I see past the bureaucracy and I see the people.  The people are what makes this country strong.  I don't know I could have endured the tumultuous past as some have. When I walk the streets, my eyes are open. I absorb as much as I can. I see the old lady standing in the metro asking for rubles. I also see the generosity of people to the old lady or to the man carrying my luggage up steps for me. 

I choose to see the good. Is there bad here? Yes. I choose to look past it. Why? For Munchkin One. I will never know what it is like to be adopted. It is part of my job to help make him secure with himself.  If I hate the place from which he came, if I speak badly of this place, I am indirectly telling him, I feel, I don't like him or I think he is bad.  If I hold hatred in my heart, bitterness feelings, I will never feel the love.  

I put my feelings aside for the love I have for Munchkin One in moving here. Did I want to? No. Was I scared? Yes! We believe in God. I leaned much on our faith and said He would not send us where He hasn't been. Our oath has been lit the whole way! Am I glad I did it? Absolutely! I would do it again.

William Shakespeare

“Love me or hate me, both are in my favor…If you love me, I'll always be in your heart…If you hate me, I'll always be in your mind.”

― William Shakespeare

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