« Pictures, because my writing bone is currently in bits and pieces | Main | 24 Hour Maya »




Oh karen. This is such an amazing insight:

"And, perhaps most of all, the scar on Maya's leg is a reminder that there are, most likely, other scars that my daughter carries--ones that I cannot see, and may never see, no matter how hard I look."

And yet like the new skin that has formed to heal the wound, your love will help heal Maya and make the splintered parts whole. Together and different, and now including you and Random. In some ways it doesn't matter that you can't see the scars; what matters is that you know they are there. It is that understanding you bring to Maya's life that will help knit (not cover up) the pieces.



Teacher Lady

You need to write a book. Your writing seeps into my psyche (at the risk of sounding like a drama queen - sorry). I think I understand - as much as someone who has never adopted can possible understand - that sense of so many conflicting emotions. I wish there was something I could do or say to fix it. The only thing I can think of is that as you, RG and Maya build your family history, there WILL be other scars - hopefully not too painful and hopefully with a silly story (I think your brother biting you and not letting go is a pretty hysterical visual - sorry) that you all will know about. And they'll all become a part of your family lexicon. That probably won't take away or obscure the pain of the unknown hurts, but it may help.


Oh, Karen, wow. This was amazing.

You mentioned a while ago that you were asked to write something on adoption; is this your piece? Because it's perfect.


Wow! That has got to be one of the best blog entries I've ever read. Very thought provoking and insightful. Thanks for sharing.


Karen this is such a beautiful and moving post– thank you so much for sharing it with us. I have to agree with Random, though– it looks like an insect bite. A very, very nasty insect, true, but the shape and coloring look a lot like a crazy spider bite I got once in Africa. I had a scar for about 3 years but somehow it went away


Amazing post!


Karen, this is beautiful.


My son has a scar on his left foot, from an infection that grew under a bandage when he had an IV in a NICU unit.

I was adopted at the age of 6 weeks. I know that my bio dad was killed in a motorcycle accident when I was still in utero. I know that I spent time in foster care before I was placed-- I have no idea why.

I know what you mean-- it was only six weeks. I have no memory of them. Ultimately, I am fine. But it was this foster home that haunted my toddler dreams-- I don't know whether they were memories, or whether being told I was adopted triggered dreams. But I remember waking with dreams, crying about the foster home-- but I am sure that my child's mind recreated something, because what I called the foster home, was actually images in my mind of being in a crib when my parents came to get me. Somehow my mind was working on this information, the stories I was told.

I am very happily adopted. I haven't searched for my birthmother, and I won't. I have natural curiosity, sure, about my genetic makeup, and about the story: The story of a girl finding out she was pregnant, of her being pregnant, of a birth-- did she see me? How did she feel? How did she deal with it afterwards, the milk in her breasts. I had three C-sections-- did she? How old was she?

And then, there is that six weeks. Was she unsure? Did they vascillate? Why the foster care? Was that typical back in the 1960's? If Roe V. Wade had been three years sooner, would I even be here?

I wonder. Of course I wonder. There are gaps that nobody who knows me can explain.

But it doesn't haunt me, it's not a scab that I pick. The scars have healed-- they are smooth, they cause no pain. They are just part of the mystery, part of the story now. And it is my hope that that is the case for Maya, too.


Karen -- thank you for posting this. Our daughter, adopted from China as well, has a large, round scar on her left leg. It's such a mystery, and she'll never know what caused it. Your post meant so much to me...thank you.


That is so amazing that the orphanage had all those pics of MP for you! What a treasure for all of you. Thank you so much for taking the time to share about all of this, friend. xx

Beth in Michigan

Karen, this was so beautifully written, I hardly want to pollute it with a comment, it is such a perfect post. I agree with Courtney, you could use this one again.

I have two thoughts on a possible cause. Do you have a small pox vaccination scar? Most people older then me have them and some people who are younger.(I'm 43) Those vaccines had nasty teeth so they really hurt in addition to leaving a scar. They must have improved that vaccine since my children and I don't have any scar at all. But I wonder if they are still using the old form in China? Does anyone know? The other thing that came to mind was indeed a bug bite. Some bugs leave terrible welts and sometimes those get infected, especially if they itch, causing the little ones to scratch them. That's all I've got for possible causes. Hope you figure it out one day if only to satisfy your own curiousity.


Karen, this was thoughtfully and beautifully written. Thank you.

To Beth in Michigan's point, they do use the old BCG vaccines and that left my daughter with the typical vaccine scar on her arm. I can't imagine one on a calf though. Maybe it was a boil or something?

Stephanie V

Dude it's totally a spider bite. I know this because down here in the South of Hell, we have big-honkin-mess with your ass spiders who attack and leave these nasty old welts with a little itty bitty hole in the center. They hurt, get really itchy - TAKE FOREVER TO HEAL and then leave a scar.


We have two boys via a domestic/open adoption. Having the relationship with our BM and BD has been so helpful to answer these questions as they come up. I totally understand and can relate to your post and the feelings you so eloquently note.
Could I offer a suggestion? Why not make up a story around the scar and how it came to be? For example, you could tell her that she was such an adorable little baby that the fairies used to sit on her crib just to watch her sleep... one night one fell off and landed on MP's leg causing the scar. Okay, that's lame but I'm sure you get the gist and could come up with something better. Anyhow, just an idea.


I think the fact that she has such a thoughtful mum (and dad too I'm sure) will help make up in a big way for those invisible scars. But no doubt there are some there, and how good that she has you to help hug the hurts away.


That post was beautiful... I have a scar just like that on my back, from an MRSA (form of staph) infection. It was an abscess that started as a pimple, opened, then scarred. They thought it was a spider bite at first, until the cultured it. I'm sorry you'll never know, do you medical records have any mention of it (because, of course, you would never think of looking THERE!)

Lisa Mulligan

My Chinese daughter also has scars- one on each leg just below her knees. They were very noticable while we were in China. We asked our guide what he thought was the cause- he seemed to think they were made by the constriction of string tied around each leg to hold her socks up. As to the truth of the cause? We'll never really know either.


Very nicely put. And I love Maya's picture--starting on her Up Dogs so soon! Baby yoga :)


This was beautifully written, and very thoughtful


Bug asks a lot of questions that I can't answer. It makes me so sad. As parents, I think we all wish that we knew the answer to everything our children want to know. Unfortunately, you and I can't answer all of our daughter's questions. But you already have such insight into what your daughter might feel at some point that I think you will be able to help her through anything in the future.

Beautiful piece.


We are in the same boat - Emma has a 2" scar on her hip bone. Its jagged like a tear. I wonder what caused it. For a 20 month old child its a pretty good sized scar. What happened there. What will I tell her someday? The missing pieces are so hard.


A lovely, moving, and perfect post. (And I've had mosquito bites that ended up looking like that.)


This is a wonderful post. That scar looks like a spider bite or a staph infection to me. I've had both, and they both have the point in the middle like that.


Welcome to the "hmmm" club.


Could be a mosquito bite that got infected. Or impetigo. Or an infected chicken pox. Unlikely to be anything too sinister.

Maybe one of the orphanage ladies would remember how she got it, if you contacted them soon? It would be interesting and useful to know. The chances are that it will fade in time though (especially if you rub it with wheatgerm oil for the vit E) and you won't ever have to explain it to her.

The comments to this entry are closed.