It is hard to believe we have been home a year since the reunion with Christian's birth parents. I never intended to continue the blog after we got home, but I have had many people ask how Christian is doing so I thought I would post a quick update. Shortly after returning from the reunion trip, Christian's best friend was killed in a car accident. As he grieved the loss of his friend, the unresolved grief from the loss of his parents finally came to the surface, as well. It was a really tough year for all of us. My best friend of 40 years passed away after a tough battle with breast cancer in April. Pam was also on the mission trip to China in 2000 when I first met Jiacheng (Christian), and was the first to suggest that I adopt him. This was another big loss for Christian, as well.
Although Christian still has a lot of mixed emotions to sort through, he is doing much better now. He is 18 years old now and in his senior year of high school. If all goes well he will finish all his requirements for graduation a semester early. He got his driver's license in August and is saving his money for a used car. Since January of this year he has been working for a local restaurant. He hopes to take some classes at a local community college next semester and maybe join the military after graduation.
I have tried to keep his birth family updated through emails, a private blog and Skype calls as often as possible. I have personally struggled with some guilty feelings over this whole situation, even though I realize I didn't do anything wrong. It is just hard to live with the fact that I have had the joy of raising this boy for the past 10 years while his China family continues to suffer and grieve their loss. When I think about how hard this is for me, I can't even imagine how hard it must be for Christian.
One thing I do know is that Christian is where he belongs right now. One day he may find his way back to China to have a closer relationship with his family in China but he will always, always, always have a home here.