Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Managing Memories

I am reading an excellant book by Mark Batterson, called "Soul Print." In chapter 2 Mark talks about the importance of Lifesymbols in remembering important things from our past and how God was faithful in and through each experience. At one point he mentions...

"One of my earliest and strongest memories is the first time I rode a bike. Part of the reason the memory is so strong is because I've heard my parents tell the story so many times. And that is one of the jobs of parents. They manage their children's memories by the stories they tell, the keepsakes they save, and the pictures they take."

This made me stop to think about the memories I am helping to manage for all my children, but especially Micah's. We made him a memory book of "his story" of becoming part of our family and he loves to read it all the time. He even makes up "memories" of when he was a baby in India. However, I started to wonder if that was enough.

This month is National Adoption Awareness Month, and we recently had an Adoption Awareness Sunday at our church. We invited speaker and author, Ted Kluck, to come and speak. He is the author of the book, "Hello, I Love You," and it is the story of their adoption journey to their two boys from the Ukraine. Part of the book was bits and pieces of the journal letters he wrote to his first son during his adoption process. Their family had an extremely difficult adoption experience, but throughout the story was woven threads of joy and beauty in the process that he wanted to remember so that he could share these things with his sons as they got older.

Of course I was reminded of my time in India as we traveled to bring Micah home. Our process was extremely smooth, but I had a very difficult time in the country and came back with some very negative feelings and little desire to go back. I was reminded by our dear caseworker that I needed to give it time, but I also needed to remember the good things about our time there and maybe even write them down. This would enable me to begin to look on my sons birth country with fondness and maybe even love as we shared the memories together as he grows and wants to know more of his story.

This was a fantastic idea, and as the years begin to pass by since Micah's adoption experience, I find myself remembering more and more the good things over the difficult. I am taking the task seriously to manage Micah's memories and I hope that as he grows, the memories will fill him with joy and thanksgiving!


Peter and Nancy said...

What a great speaker to hear in person! I think he's been on the radio -- his name and sons' birth country sound very familiar. I've seen that "memory managing" in progress with our kids, too. They love to ask me to tell particular stories over and over, and talk as though they remember (when they were probably too young to actually recall it). It's good to be reminded to treat our kids' birth country and adoption as an ongoing conversation. Thanks!

Kristi W. said...

Go Candice! I love this book and all of the nuggets I'm getting out of it, too. :)

US Child Adoption said...

Nice article, thanks!