Journey of the Heart - From a fathers perspective, by Mike Bruns

Hi, my name is Mike Bruns. My wife and I are in the process of adopting from China.  We have asked to be matched with an older child.  There are several reasons for this, the first being our son.  He is going to be nearly five years old by the time our child arrives.  We would like them to be closer in age so that they will be able to have a closer relationship, as they grow older together.  The second reason is that we have an older child and can afford to give another older child an opportunity that she might not get otherwise.

We named our second child Cory long before we knew she would be coming from China.  Her middle name will be Yvette from her mother’s middle name. Once we know what her Chinese name is, we will add also.

My wife and I had gone through several years of fertility treatments with no success.  We moved from Illinois, where such treatments were covered by insurance, to Georgia where they are not.  There was no way that we could continue the treatments without the financial help from insurance, so we gave up the fight to have a biological baby.  That was in 1994.

In 1996 we decided to look into adoption.  During our infertility treatment period I had always thought about adoption and had noticed a few cases in Illinois where adopted children who had been with their parents for 3-5 years were awarded to the biological parents through law suits for some illogical reason or another.  I knew that if it ever came down to it and we pursued adoption, it would never be in the United States.  I could not give my child up like that.

I was telling a coworker about what we were planning to do and she suggested that we look into adopting from China.  She told me about the plight of little girls in that country and I knew I had found what I was looking for. All along I pictured someone who needed me just as much as I needed him or her.  When I looked into Chinese adoption and the reasons that these little girls were being abandoned, my heart told me that this was the only direction we should go in.

We hired a consultant to help us make the right choices when it came to agencies and anything else we would need to do.  A few weeks later, my wife found out she was pregnant.  It was a miracle and we were so elated that the only thing we could concentrate on for the next several months was our little baby boy, Jacob. But, in the back of my mind, I still had a little baby girl that was waiting for me.

My son was born in May of 1997.  He was all I ever dreamed he could be.  I never knew that I could love another human being the way I loved him.  The last three and a half years with him have been the most rewarding of my entire life.  But, my little girl was always there, deep in the recesses of my thoughts, lingering, waiting for me to get the process started and finally come and get her. Nevertheless, my wife wanted to have another biological child.  Why shouldn't she?  She had one, now she wanted to have another.  I couldn't deny her that opportunity just to satisfy my selfish wants.

We tried for almost three years after Jacob was born.  It was as if she never got pregnant the first time.  Her body acted the same way and it looked hopeless.  That's when I started bringing up the adoption that we had left hanging.  Although, I told her that we should pick up where we left off, she was still convinced that she could get pregnant again and wanted to try oral fertility treatments to try and jump start her reproductive system. She said she would give it three months to work and if it didn't work by then she would give up.

Three months came and went without any positive results.  She asked me what I wanted to do.  Should she continue with the treatments or just give up?  I told her that I wanted to adopt.  She said “I know, but should I continue with the treatments”.  I said, "You just don't get it.  I want to adopt. You asked me what I wanted to do and I'm telling you.  I want to adopt the little girl who is waiting for us in China". It took her a few days to accept the idea.  After all, she had been thinking for so long that she could have another biological child so it was going to take a lot of soul-searching to give up on that forever and find room in her heart for someone else.  It wasn't difficult for me because our little girl had been in my heart for years.

We started our journey to China in March of 2000.  We picked an agency that only worked with Chinese adoptions.  Then we picked a home study agency that someone who had adopted from China recommended.  I could not believe the amount of paperwork and paper chasing that was involved in this process. The questionnaire from our adoption agency was almost too much to bear. The questions that they asked would sometimes boarder on the ridiculous.  After a few sessions of interrogation a question was raised about "how we would handle the questions she would have regarding our differences".  I have always felt and will always feel that honesty will get you everywhere.  We will never lie about her origin.  Someday our differences will be more than obvious to her and I can only tell her that on the outside we are very different, but on the inside, where it really counts, we are the same.

Being an amateur writer (using the pen name Cory Jacobs), that question kept rattling around in my head until I sat down and wrote this poem:

by Cory Jacobs

Why, father, are your eyes round when mine are not?
My dear daughter, it is because we are different.

Why, father, is your skin light when mine is not?
My dear daughter, it is because we are different. 

Why, father, is your hair curly when mine is not?
My dear daughter, once again, it is because we are different.

Why, father, does my heart ache so when I hear this?
My dear daughter, it is because we are the same.

We finally made it through the interrogation part and the dossier part of the adoption journey and have moved on to the waiting stage.  We are hoping to get a match before November of this year and have Cory home by Christmas.

During the last year I have written one other poem that I would like to share with you.  It is simply entitled "Tears".  I hope you like it:

by Cory Jacobs

In the stillness of the night, a child wakes feeling scared and alone.
Her tears blend in among the other thoughts and dreams circulating
throughout the room.

Mommy, where are you?  I’m cold, alone, and scared.  I need you.
Please come and get me. She watches the door open as the tired
caregiver comes in to quiet her and lay her back down.

In the stillness of the night, a mother wakes feeling scared and alone.
Her tears blend in among the other thoughts and dreams that come
to her every night.

Sweet daughter, where are you? I feel so cold, alone, and scared.
I need you.  Please be all right. She watches the back of her husband
raise and fall as he dreams of the chores he must wake to soon.

In the stillness of the night, a woman wakes feeling scared and alone.
Her tears blend in among the many thoughts and questions that come
to her every moment.

Dear daughter to be, where are you?  You must be cold, alone, and scared.
I need you.  Please wait for me. She looks at the map of China she taped
to the bedroom wall and pictures the day they will meet