Saturday, July 01, 2006
The Story of the Red Thread (1) - it connects those destined to meet.
By Patrick Gunn
Many families who are adopting from China know about the Red Thread. It comes from a saying that "An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance; the threadmay stretch or tangle, but will never break." Whatever the origin ofthis saying, our family has found it to be a great way to connect with the daughter and little sister we have yet to meet in China. As expectant adoptive parents, we have little that we can touch to keep usconstantly aware of our status. There are no slowly bulging bellies, nokicks to feel.
Once we're done with all the authentications ofdocuments and we've waited in our last line for fingerprints, there'snot much that keeps us physically attached to the adoption process butour imagination and dreams of the child to be. When we turned in our dossier in May of last year, I wanted to havesomething to keep with me until the day I pick up my daughter in China. So I made a trip to the art store and picked up some red embroiderythread. I used this thread to weave a simple little bracelet for myselfand then a sturdier bracelet for my wife Laura (which made for a greatMother's Day gift last year). At the time we turned in our dossier, wewere expecting a wait of six or seven months until referral. Had Iknown that the wait would end up being a full year, perhaps I would haveworked harder to create a stronger product for myself.
During the past year plus, I've looked at that red bracelet on my wrist every day and thought about my connection to a little girl I'm destinedto meet. First wondering if she had even been born yet, then trying toenvision her as she slept or ate or smiled for the first time. But always looking forward to the day her little finger would grab a hold ofthat thread and pull my arm toward her. Neither of us knew it at the time it happened, but I'm certain that I looked at my wrist and thought of her on the day she was born. This red thread has been a link to myfuture child, helping to make that concept a bit more real. It has stretched and tangled and snagged and broken and even dropped off andwas lost for a day. But I've always managed to retie it and get it backwhere it belongs, reminding me that my family is not yet complete. (To be continued.)