It’s such a hard day for so many women, a hassle for others, and a disappointment for some. For me, this year, it was all about a petite, dark-haired woman who lives thousands of miles away. I will never meet her. I will never know why she did not raise the daughter that we share. I will never stop wondering about her thoughts, her motives, her dreams, her prayers. I can’t say something sentimental about how I know she’s wondering if that baby with the perfect lips and sweet, round face is happily growing up with another mother, because I can’t know that, and we’re trying to be honest about the few facts we have. We never want our daughter to feel like we lied to her. But, we do know that someone carried her for 9 or so months, felt her kicks, and gave birth to her. We do know our precious one wakes up crying for people we have never met. Does her first mother grieve at night, too? We do know that she is fearful of being left behind every time we so much as get out of the car. What were her first mother’s fears? We do know that she loves to look at books, is interested in animals, and thinks tangerines are the most delicious thing in the world. Maybe her first mother likes some of those things, as well? I don’t know. There’s so much I don’t know. It physically hurts to think about telling my spunky, tenacious little girl, bit by bit, how much we don’t know. Her heart will be broken, and this mother’s love will not be enough to make it okay.
One week ago, we honored the several other women who have loved and mothered our daughter. I don’t know if they are thinking of us, but I do know we will never stop thinking of them.
A friend emailed me Sunday to tell me a person was trying to get hold of me with an update about our daughter. I friended this person on Facebook, and she runs the foster home where my daughter is now. Yay internet!!
I spent Sunday evening in a glorious fog. She’s smiling! She’s growing! She’s healthy! She has gorgeous hair! She has so many teeth! She’s using her hands and fingers more dexterously than we thought! She’s eating solids! I have beautiful updated pictures! I have video! She’s receiving treatment for her clubfoot that we didn’t think she’d get for months! I can get pictures and updates regularly until we go to get her! It was a wonderful, emotional day. Then we got in bed. My brain starting spinning and wouldn’t stop. I realized she had been an additional two places (with two or more additional sets of parental figures) than I already knew about. She has been moved around so much. Every time she’s let herself love someone, then they were gone. She had two surgeries without a mommy or daddy or even a stable nanny to care for her. She must have been so scared to wake up in a hospital alone. In less than two years, she’s had more grief and loss than most of us experience in our entire lives. I am heartbroken for her. I am very, very worried for her. It was a long, emotional night.
The two people I shared my concerns with encouraged me with the Truth:
God can redeem this.
He loves her, too.
She hasn’t had a mommy, but she’s had the perfect Father.
He has a heart for orphans, too.
We have a God of restoration.
They are right. I know they are right. I’m so thankful to have people to whisper Truth to my scared mommy heart. This is so hard! So complex! So much joy mixed with so much grief – and this is just the beginning.