Jackie Lantry is a part-time hospital clerk in Rehoboth, Mass. She and her husband have adopted two girls and two boys from China. When Jackie asked her children what they believed in, they said “family.”
“It was not therapy, counselors or medications. It did not cost money, require connections or great privilege. It was love： just simple, plain, easy to give.”
I believe in the ingredients[成分] of love, the elements from which it is made. I believe in love's humble, practical components and their combined power.
We adopted[收养] Luke four years ago. The people from the orphanage[孤儿院] dropped him off at our hotel room without even saying goodbye. He was nearly six years old, only 28 pounds and his face was crisscrossed[交叉着] with scars. Clearly, he was terrified[害怕的]. “What are his favorite things？” I yelled. “Noodles,” they replied as the elevator door shut.
Luke kicked and screamed. I stood between him and the door to keep him from bolting[门栓]. His cries were anguished[痛苦的], animal-like. He had never seen a mirror and tried to escape by running through one. I wound my arms around him so he could not hit or kick. After an hour and a half he finally fell asleep, exhausted[精疲力竭的]. I called room service. They delivered every noodle dish on the menu. Luke woke up, looked at me and started sobbing again. I handed him chopsticks[筷子] and pointed at the food. He stopped crying and started to eat. He ate until I was sure he would be sick.
That night we went for a walk. Delighted at the moon, he pantomimed[打手势], “What is it？” I said, “The moon, it's the moon.” He reached up and tried to touch it. He cried again when I tried to give him a bath until I started to play with the water. By the end of his bath the room was soaked[浸湿的] and he was giggling[傻笑]. I lotioned him up, powdered him down and clothed him in soft PJs. We read the book One Yellow Lion. He loved looking at the colorful pictures and turning the pages. By the end of the night he was saying, “one yellow lion.”
The next day we met orphanage officials to do paperwork. Luke was on my lap[膝] as they filed into the room. He looked at them and wrapped my arms tightly around his waist[腰].
He was a sad, shy boy for a long time after those first days. He cried easily and withdrew at the slightest provocation[激怒]. He hid food in his pillowcase[枕头套] and foraged[翻寻] in garbage cans. I wondered then if he would ever get over the wounds of neglect that the orphanage had beaten into[灌输给] him.
It has been four years. Luke is a smart, funny, happy fourth-grader. He is loaded with charm and is a natural athlete. His teachers say he is well behaved and works very hard. Our neighbor says she has never seen a happier kid.
When I think back, I am amazed at what transformed this abused, terrified little creature. It was not therapy, counselors or medications. It did not cost money, require connections or great privilege. It was love： just simple, plain, easy to give. Love is primal. It is comprised of compassion, care, security, and a leap of faith. I believe in the power of love to transform. I believe in the power of love to heal.