When Rain Hurts is the story of how our Russian adopted son Peter came into our lives, the series of events that led us there, and my successful journey toward loving him, while accepting and adjusting to the fact that I will never completely heal him. Peter suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Mild Autism, Seizures, BiPolar Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attachment Disorder and suspected Mitochondrial Disease. He is also, on most days, our beautiful and loving boy.
Through journal entries, I attempt to demonstrate how love can flourish in the most hostile environments, if nourished with compassion, humor and humility. These journal entries, and the narrative that accompanies them, aren’t a memoir so much as an exploration of the transcendence toward peace that one can experience in life-altering situations once hope is chosen above despair, and acceptance over resignation. This project is about the growth that occurs through the examination of grief, the adjustment of dreams, and the acknowledgement of one’s own capacity.
I hope this blog has interest and relevance to readers who have adopted or are considering adoption, as well as those who have suffered loss through illness, trauma, death or disappointment.
I begin by posting journal entries starting in the summer of 2007, when our son was turning 6. Each journal entry is followed by a chapter, which tells the narrative story of our adoption journey. I am also including more recent journal entries, which can be found under “pages”, on the right-hand column of this blog. I haven’t yet determined how they’ll fit into the overall book concept; they may end up replacing the earlier entries. I hope to be finished with the entire manuscript, which is 3/4s complete, by well, who knows? Sooner rather than later, I hope.
I undertook this project because I felt demoralized after reading the plethora of adoption- and autism-related books on the market. Most if not all portray a family who struggles with their child’s difficulty at first, but who ultimately learns to embrace the problem and become enriched because of it. Reading these accounts made me feel inadequate, as a mother and as a human being. I love my child, fiercely in fact, but hate the disabilities that plague his future and pepper our daily lives with genuine chaos. I want my child to be whole but I will love him every day of my life no matter how damaged or battered he remains or becomes. This project seeks to explore these feelings. Adoption isn’t always easy and adopting an alcohol exposed child carries with it inherent booby traps that simply cannot be overcome by love, faith, medication or any other kind of intervention. I know because I’ve tried. What works is blood, sweat, and tears, a healthy dose of humor, a barrel full of patience, and the wisdom to know when the zenith’s been reached; when its time to let go and let be.
Thank you in advance for taking this journey with my family and me. I came to this occupation of “part-time writer” out of what I felt was necessity. By training and passion, I’m also an attorney who has spent 13 years with the USEPA enforcing environmental laws that help ensure clean water, air, and land, and more recently, I’ve begun teaching environmental law and policy at the undergraduate, graduate, and law school levels. I’m 40-something, married to the most wonderful man on the planet, have more pets than I care to divulge, and together we do our best to raise our two children, whom we love and adore but who definitely give us a run for our money.