The Fourth of July took on new meaning for me…
By Dr T J Jordan
There were weeks when I thought we would never get home. And then there was the glorious moment when our plane hovered above a New York airport, poised to touch down on American soil. I had never felt patriotism until then…
It was nighttime on the Fourth of July, somewhere over the United States, and the fireworks that were shooting into the skies beneath us seemed like a greeting delivered just for me and my infant daughter. For the last few hours of our flight, I watched the flaming colors, overwhelmed and exhausted, more exhilarated and more traumatized than I had ever been before.
I had traveled to China to adopt an infant girl. Meeting her for the first time was the only thing I could think about for the months leading up to travel. I was ecstatic and sentimental, fierce and tender, filled with the anticipation of a new kind of love and a new kind of life as mother.
In my joy, I was unprepared for the extreme hardships that would come with the triumphs. I didn’t know that my dad would lie dying or that I would be weak with relentless hemorrhaging. I didn’t know that I would witness the horrors of infant deaths or suffer the terrifying effects of starvation for the many weeks when food was unavailable. I couldn’t have imagined drinking the muddy water or washing my child in runoff from the river. I couldn’t have anticipated the loneliness of being trapped for weeks at the mercy of the relentless monsoon. I couldn’t have known the feeling of loving my new daughter more than I loved life itself. And finally, I didn’t know that I could keep on keeping on…
Charles Dickens said it best: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
And then we landed, just after the fireworks stopped and our new life began.
(Find out about scheduling a free thirty minute individual or couples therapy session with me here or email me at email@example.com. I am a concierge clinical psychologist in private practice with an emphasis on remote sessions. I provide practical psychological strategies to enhance love, sex, and intimacy, as well as personal growth. I combine life lessons with clinical psychology in a mentorship framework. Together we collaboratively explore ways to celebrate self and self-in-relationship.)
Many thanks for sharing this memory with me!