My kids' bodies are covered in scars. They were not beaten when living with their extended family prior to the orphanage, and while corporal punishment is common place in Ugandan culture, I don't think that they were hit to the point of leaving any scars even at the orphanage. Their scars are from living in a rough life where kids gathered fire wood, worked in the garden, carried water daily, hung around open fires, and toys were rocks and sticks and metal playground equipment that knocked out teeth when play got carried away.
My kids' hearts have been broken, yes. We actually just talked about this today. We talked about how just leaving their extended family in Uganda broke their hearts, and then getting word 6 months later that their beloved Grandmother had died, broke their hearts all over again. And while that brokeness is healing, there will always be a scar on their hearts in that place.
Adoption comes from brokenness. A child would never need adopting if it weren't for the fact that we live in a broken world. Children are all too often the ones who pay the price for the sins of adults. It's not fair. Nothing about it is fair. People often say "your kids are so lucky to have you." I know what they mean. They are trying to compliment us for being good parents. But are they really lucky? Lucky to lose their first mother? Lucky to leave behind all their friends who they still miss to this day? Lucky to be forced to live with strangers who look funny, smell funny, speak words that make no sense, and have expectations with which they are not familiar?
Adoption = Scars. It's just a fact. Even a child adopted at birth, given up by a teen who is a good girl that found herself in a situation that she wasn't ready for, and given to loving parents who adore her, will someday be forced to face the brokeness that lead to her story.
I challenge you to look at my kids. Look at their faces. Are they broken? Their hearts have scars but that is not the theme of their lives. Look at their eyes. Do you see pain? No. They are happy kids. They love life in a way I didn't understand until I fell in love with them. Do they still hurt? Yes. Deep wounds take the longest to heal. But their wounds aren't the end. They are the beginning. My kids run wildly, jump like bouncy balls, laugh loudly with their whole bodies, and they love. They love with all their hearts. They love me. Even though they know all my faults, they love me. Even though I lose my temper and yell, they love me. Even though I am not the perfect Mommy that they deserve, they love me. And that is our story!