I thought I understood the challenges of adopting an older child. I expected that my new daughter would need some time to get used to me, but I never thought she’d be frightened by me.
by Debra Zickafoose
“Mom, I was scared of you.” My daughter, Anuja, widens her eyes to emphasize the intensity of the fear that has since passed. It’s the eve of her seventh birthday. We sit at the kitchen table as she shares the story of her first impression of her new family. “I wasn’t scared of Dad or Nish, just you! I never saw anyone like you before.”
We adopted Anuja from India when she was five. She experienced her first car ride, her first city, her first hotel, and her first family within a 24-hour period. We met in a hotel lobby in Mumbai. Live piano music swirled in the background as my eyes fell on the small figure I had waited so long to see. She was tiny, and her dress was baby blue. It was frayed at the bottom and two sizes too big…