The Frost Family (India)
Before this year, I never thought about the moon much. It was never particularly beautiful or interesting to me. It didn’t really catch my eye or attention. It was just a thing that was always in the sky and occasionally got some notice when it was doing something particularly dramatic like a lunar eclipse or a harvest moon.
My son, Judah, on the other hand goes crazy for the moon. Upon our family’s return to the U.S. after his adoption from India in July of 2015, we were working hard learning to communicate and, wouldn’t you know it, one of his very first english words was ‘moon’. We were using hand gestures for pee-pee and poo-poo and eat and water -but “moon”? This kid wants to talk about the moon?
I don’t remember how he learned it. Remember, I didn’t think much of the moon. But I noticed early on that each time we got in the car he would ask for the moon. I’d point it out to him, and if he was able to see it, he’d light up and yell, “moon, moon, moon!”
How it took me weeks to put this together is just evidence that when you come home from halfway around the world (jet-lag), with a toddler (exhausting), who also has jet-lag (you are kidding me), to be a first-time stay-at-home mom, you get to use your I-grew-him-in-my-belly mom friends’ term ‘pregnancy brain,’ because there is no way that you are firing on all your smart cylinders when you are tired, anxious, and so in love with this little human who is now dependent on you for all he needs but is also learning to trust you and communicate with you. For those of you who are there, keep going, keep loving, keep cleaning the pee up from the floor, keep cooking those foods that stink up your kitchen, keep being a safe person, keep it up. It gets better and better and better. Sorry, I got off topic. Back to the moon.
One very good day, like so good I must have had a nap or been able to pee with the door closed or something peaceful and soul-nourishing like that, I had an epiphany. My precious boy lost all that was familiar and was now living in a new place with new people, new food, new clothes, new expectations, new smells, in a new city, surrounded by a new culture, learning a new language, new everything. He took nothing from his old life into this new one. Except the moon. The moon was a familiar friend.
Now don’t get all, “we read the books, and you are supposed to make him Indian food, and show him pictures of your meeting, and buy culturally relevant artifacts while in country,” because of course we read those same books and did those things too. But the things we can salvage for him from his past are very limited. He had relationships and routines and rituals that we could never reproduce, and we are creating new relationships and routines and rituals around what it means to be part of our family.
The moon represents so much more than it used to. The moon is just a cold rock, but it brings light to my son and the rest of us due to its ability to reflect the sun. It is not a source of light but merely a reflection point. I am sinner, a jar of clay, a willing but flawed vessel of God’s love and his Son’s light. My abilities to parent, to love, correct, empower, discipline, connect, protect, and encourage are at their best when they are simply reflecting Christ’s abilities. Now the moon makes me teary eyed and emotional. Because it’s not about the moon at all, but God’s faithfulness.
I’m not so conceited as to think the moon was hung just for me and my family (I’m sure there is some science reason like tides or something, right?). But just like God gave Noah a rainbow as the reminder of his promise, the moon is my reminder of God’s faithfulness to my family through adoption and my call to be a reflection of God’s love for my son (and the rest of the world too). There are about a gajillion more analogies I could draw about the moon always being there even when it can’t be seen, or it is a faint sliver or something profound about eclipses, or about how it's light can be covered when the things in this world get in the way, but you get the idea.
Brittany, her husband, Jeremy, and their son Judah live in Central Illinois. They are grateful for the support of AWAA and of the AWAA India families she has ‘met’ via the online community. The Frost family is in process with their second adoption through the AWAA India program. They welcome questions and encouragement at firstname.lastname@example.org.