Tuesday, May 27, 2014


It's been one year and 5 months since the day Munni and I met for the first time.  I recently got a new phone for my long, overdue upgrade so I saved the pictures from my old phone to my computer.  Going back through those pictures was like watching one of those science films that is sped up to show the growth of a seed into a  plant, into a bud, and finally into a beautiful, showy bloom.  Munni has definitely blossomed into her own!

And yet…

The pain of her past is deeply imbedded within her.  I was alarmed at the amount of information she remembered.   Late at night, when we were snuggled in bed, she would whisper the horrors of her past to me.  Each time she dared to open the vault that held those secrets, she would release more details of her horrendous past.  She did it in small pieces, as if she knew the weight of knowing it all at once  would crush me.

I spent many nights sobbing after she drifted off to sleep.  I don't care how many books you read or how many classes you take, nothing will prepare you to hear in your own child's words what they endured before they were yours.

I post a lot of pictures of Munni and they are almost always pictures that paint a joyful world in which she lives.  Yes, I would say that Munni is happy.  But there is also an underlying anxiety that plagues her.  She does so well the majority of the time that even I forget.  Until she blindsides me.   It's never expected and always feels like a punch to the gut.  In her beautiful innocence, she doesn't realize the crushing blows she doles out with her questions or observations.

One night we were watching a popular show on the Food Network.  We were laughing, having a great time and then she stops.  "Mommy- that person sitting at that table looks like X."  Her whole demeanor changes and I start to feel like the air has been sucked out of the room.  At this point I pray for divine knowledge to handle validating her and keeping my own emotions in check.  What I want to do is go freaking ballistic on X.  Instead, I rewind the program.  "Show me baby.  Which one."

We are driving to a birthday party talking about all the presents this person is going to get and what a fun party it's going to be.  "Mommy, will I ever see X?"
I think to myself, oh my God, where is this coming from?
"No baby, you will never see X."
"But what if X finds me?"
"Baby, X will never find you.  And if somehow X made it to America, Mommy will never, ever let anything happen to you ever again.  And you know what else?  ALL the people who love you will never let X see you again.  Do you understand how many people love you?  That's a lot of people who will make sure you are safe. And Simon, well Simon would rip X into 100 pieces.  He would never let X get between you and him."
She halfheartedly giggles and tells me she understands, but in the rearview mirror I see her face.  And in her eyes it's there.  Ever so small, but present.  A hint of doubt.  A sliver of fear.  In my mind, I simultaneously pray for healing and cuss like a rapper filled with rage.  I realize my knuckles are white from gripping the steering wheel.  What I would give to have 5 minutes….. I stop myself.  I can't go down that road because it leads to nowhere.  I tell myself that hurt people hurt people.  Only Jesus can give me the strength to forgive X.  Anger and bitterness lead to death, not life.  I slow my breathing.  I ask God to help me in my unbelief because right now, I have unbelief that I will ever truly forgive.

Munni and I still co-sleep.  She told me the other day that she wants to sleep with me forever.  I told her  that she can sleep with me as long as she wants.  When people give me disapproving looks upon finding out that Munni is still in my bed, I wonder why they even care.  I will do whatever it takes to make Munni know that she is loved, cared for, and safe.

The thing about adoption is that many times, these children come from hard places.  Places that you will never hear the parents sharing the details in their pursuit of protecting their child.  We remain vague.  BUT IT IS PAINFUL AND LONELY.  Sometimes her revelations wreck me for days afterwards.  Other times, I am successful at compartmentalizing my pain.   I cry a lot when I talk about Munni and how much she's changed over the last year.  There are deep wells of emotion within me because I know what a miracle she is.  I know what she has overcome.  I know what still lies ahead.  I pray prayers that no parent would ever want to pray.

If you know someone who has adopted and maybe one day they seem "off,"  please just give them a hug.  Things might look rosy on the outside but it's quite possible that a bomb went off the day before.  There have been many, many days where I could have used a hug.  I don't have any trouble asking for affection, it's the reason behind it that makes it difficult :(

Adoption has made me a more compassionate person.  It's easy to make judgments, comments, or comparisons about how people parent their children.  I used to do that.  I wasn't even a parent but in my "expertise" I would "never do such and such."  What a joke.  I was so insensitive and prideful in my naivety of non-parenthood.  Life has a funny way of teaching you lessons.  Now, experiencing what I have experienced has taught me that every parent could use a friendly smile and support; a sense of solidarity in this whole parenting thing.


  1. Wow. Kristen, thanks so much for your honesty. This is so beautiful and heartbreaking - beautiful because of the overwhelming love you have for your daughter. You and Munni are in my prayers (and baby R too).

  2. So true, Kristen, on all points. Parenting kids is never easy, but adoption makes it much more challenging. Fortunately, God provides so much grace and changes us as well.

  3. Hi Kristen, Sending you and Munni a great big virtual bear hug from British Columbia, Canada. Wish I could be there in person. Just reading your post makes my blood boil and want to rage on X. How dare anybody to hurt young innocent children! I hope you hear something soon on your second adoption. I keep checking your blog. I have started a petition for breast density awareness at http://doyouhavedensebreasts.blogspot.ca Please check it out if you have time. Also, do you live in one of the fourteen states that has breast density legislation. This info can be found at www.areyoudense.org
    love and hugs to you both,

    1. Thank you so much for this info Elizabeth- I found out this fall that I am dense ;) I am definitely going to ask my doctor about a sonogram. I had no idea. I am praying for you! Thank you for all of your encouraging words!

  4. Your writing and expression of your life now with Munni is amazing...beautiful. I find myself wiping tears off my cheeks just thinking about all that precious little girl has lived through. You are such a blessing to her as I know she is to you as well. You are such a strong woman, mommy, protector. Much love, Angie

  5. Stephanie McGuffeyMay 27, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    Kristen, this is beautiful. Prayers for your sweet daughter and for you, her incredible mother and her hero. <3

  6. Your writing and expression of your life now with Munni is amazing...beautiful. I find myself wiping tears off my cheeks just thinking about all that precious little girl has lived through. You are such a blessing to her as I know she is to you as well. You are such a strong woman, mommy, protector. Much love, Angie

  7. You and Munni are perfect for each other. This story made me cry, so I have to think on a lighter note about my conversation with Munni yesterday. I meowed at Riley (the cat), and Munni asks, "oh, you speak cat?" I'm like, "sure, I speak cat." She replies, "I speak cat too. I talk to Frita." That was funny.

    1. JON!!! Oh my goodness that is hilarious!!! We are glad to have a neighbor who speaks "cat!"

  8. thank you for sharing kristen. it pains my heart to read about her past, but so grateful for God's protecting THEN and NOW.

  9. Thank you for your vulnerability, Kristen. It is so hard to know how much to share at times. We want to protect our children, and yet we need support at times. I think you struck the right balance here. I'm so grateful that Munni has you and you have her. Bless you on this journey. May God's grace continue to give you great strength and joy. Hugs to you!

  10. Hi Kristen, this will be healed with time as well, not easy, but will be. God has always helped you and will be.