Saturday, April 2, 2011
Nature vs Nuture and adoption
Holding Chanty as she fed drop by drop on her formula through the long night, the overly hot, dark room fell away to another place and time as I dreamed about the beautiful child she would grow to be. I wondered if she would love me, or resent being taken away from her Country and culture into a much different life. Pondering the meaning of nature vs. nurture, and adoption and was this really God’s plan, or have I made a huge mistake and taken things into my own hands. I have a tendency to take things when I should leave them to God…I watched Chanty watching me as I held her close in my arms. I cooed at her and she stretched with her arms rigidly stretched above her head and her little fingers closed in a tight fist. I wrapped her tiny fingers around mine and promised that we would love each other and that would be enough. Soon she was sound asleep and the early streaks of sunlight began to appear. I heard the first sounds of families preparing breakfast on the street. It seems that early morning in Vietnam is one of the most favored times for working families. The sounds of laughter and the clatter of cooking utensils made me realize that I couldn’t remember when I had last eaten. I layed Chanty next to sleeping Douglas, covering them both with the same sheet and crept out of the room. Down 180 steps..my flip flops slapping the stone stairs and my wrinkled skirt flying with me. I’m really hungry and not too worried about catching anything…such as botulism. Street food is really the best food ….if your brave enough. Out the glass door with the name of the hotel stenciled in black. The heat and humidity..the smell of smoke and cooking envelope me with a welcome hug. Just steps away, next door is a motorcycle repair shop. A family had gathered on the sidewalk, crouching, or squatting around a coal stove and were in the process of eating. The Matriarch was serving out noodles and broth into outstretched bowls. Everyone spoke at once until they saw me…silent, watchful, and curious brown eyes followed me as I tried to pretend I belonged.