Posted by: Kristin W | July 4, 2012

A Different Perspective on July 4

So, today is the 4th of July.  Parades, watermelon, and fireworks.  But this year, I have a very different feeling about today, for so many reasons.

A and L were relinquished by their birth family on July 4.  One year ago today, someone (we’re not sure who) took them to the Dagu Relief Orphanage and told the director that the family couldn’t care for them any more.  From what A has told us, they took him into the room that shows in his referral photo where they gave him a bath, shaved his head, and changed his clothes.  He was scared.  He cried.  The paperwork that was filled out that week indicated that he was very scared.  And although little L can’t tell us, it must have been a shock to her to longer be breast-fed, but to have a bottle shoved in your mouth by a nanny you’d never seen before.

Fast forward 365 days.  Today, they will go to a parade.  They will eat watermelon.  And, if all goes well and no one freaks out, they will see their first fireworks show.  They will wear red, white and blue because they are proud American kids.  A has a Team USA jersey that he would wear every day, if I would be more prompt about doing laundry.  It amazes me how much their lives have changed in a single year.

As a mom, I choose to be happy for the 4th of July that we celebrate today.  I mean what greater story than one of immigrants, coming to this country for a better life?   But it doesn’t mean that I can forget everything that they went through a year ago.  That day will always be a part of their story, and I predict that I will always feel a touch of sadness on an otherwise celebratory day.  And there is also thankfulness, because on this special day, our kids took their first step toward becoming American citizens.

What a difference a year makes:



  1. Oh K- Happy Independence Day to you and your family. Wishing a lifetime of good memories on July 4, wrapped in the pursuit of happiness.

  2. What a difference! Im sorry they had to go through that to get where they are today but so profoundly happy to be their grandmother. And, so proud of my family for taking thr jump!!

  3. WOnderful post! Adopting these kids allows us to see the world through a very different lens. I hope you all are well. It seems like you guys are doing just great!

  4. What a contrast between those two July 4ths. Wow. I am glad A is able to share some of his memories and feelings with you; I’m sure that is very important to him. I’m also glad that he’s so proud to wear his Team USA jersey!

  5. Oh that first photo of A, my heart. But then there is the second one below and there is light and joy. And I hope all the fourths here in America can allow them to feel that more than the pain of the one last year.

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