(in China 2004) (I knew I loved you before I met you) (I know that it might sound more than a little crazy but I knew I loved you before I met you. I have been waiting all my life)
It's not often that I let myself go there. To drift back to thoughts of her actual birth day. But just one day before I can't help myself.
On June 8th or 9th or 10th (we really don't know the day... but somewhere around that time) I was teaching second grade. I was finishing up my eighth year of teaching that June and I'm sure it was a hot day in my classroom. Scott was just across town as an eighth grade Social Studies teacher. Even my Dad, a teacher then was just a block away from me in his sixth grade classroom. I could see his school when I was outside for recess. It was a happy time in our lives. A very, very happy time.
At that point God had already revealed to our hearts that our first child would be adopted. Our paperwork was nearly done and Scott and I were a buzz thinking about what was to come in our lives. We were 'paper pregnant' and we were glowing; both of us.
On the other side of the word there was a mama who was carrying our daughter. She had never met us. And she didn't know what was about to happen to her life. She had no idea that the joy we were 'expecting' in our lives would come from her.
I have no details. Not a one. I don't know the time of day. I don't really know the day. I have an 'idea' of the city she could have lived in. But I don't know for sure.
The concept of another woman on the other side of the world going into labor, hoping perhaps for a boy and then seeing the face of my daughter is too hard for me to understand. Was she alone? Was she with family? Was she in the country near that city or was she right there where I walked in the summer of 2004?
Did she hold her? Nurse her? Want her? Get to spend time with her? Did she feel love for her? Could it, might it, have possibly been this profound love I feel in my heart today twelve years later? Or maybe not. I'd like to think so. (here I am)
I do know that Anna wasn't (deep breath) abandoned for a possible fourteen days after her birth. So perhaps.
And as much as time goes on her birth day is a difficult, raw one for me. Sometimes I feel mad that I didn't get to hold her as an infant. Didn't get to hold her on my lap on her first birthday. I feel mad that she was nameless and simply just the 'job' of someone who worked in the orphanage. She was fed (mostly) but not when she was hungry. She had other babies in the room. But really she needed a mother and father. I know I can't go back but on this birthday I wish I could have just picked her up and held her when she cried. I know that no one did. For months and months and months until I got there. (and then I didn't put her down for months and months and months)
(not in this photo because I just cant... but in there for fourteen months. Dirty, smelly, walls picked at for lack of anything to do)
Adoption is such a miraculous gift from the ultimate gift giver, God. He trusted us to love and raise His daughter. (she really belongs to Him) And with that gift, with that trust and with the beauty of adoption comes the knowing that I will never know on this side of Heaven the deepest questions in my heart. I will always wonder.
(in the orphanage... before we got to her)
Wonder sometimes with anger wishing she didn't have to endure what she did. But mostly wonder with deepest gratitude and profound love for my daughter. For my God. For adoption.
Everyday, but mostly today I am humbled and honored and amazed that what He started twelve years ago (much longer actually) on two different parts of His world would be mine.
To her birth mother on this day:
~ I don't know if this day means a thing to you. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't.
~ No matter what you felt twelve years ago, I honor you. You gave her life.
~Thank you for her beauty. Oh, she is so beautiful. I wish you could see her. Her eyes, her creamy skin, her thick hair with brown highlights, oh so beautiful.
~She's no longer a 'little' girl anymore so I can stand back and look at her knowing just what you look like.
~It is my sincere and honest prayer from my heart that one day we will meet on the other side and I will know the whole story. And you will too. I will wrap my arms around you and thank you, thank you, thank you for my daughter. (I can only imagine)
Happy birth day Anna. Be proud of your story. It's a beautiful one. It was written by the only One who could author such an amazing one. Your story is profound and it is a miracle. I'm sorry that mama couldn't be there twelve years ago. Every wish in me wishes I could have. One thing I do know above ALL ELSE (and listen closely) is that we (you, your mama, your daddy, and your abigail) were given a special touch of God's grace and God's favor. Our family loves more deeply, more profoundly, just more. You are loved more because of your story and because of the miracle you are. Happy, happy birth day. It really IS a happy day. All my love forever, mama (on this side of the world)
(in China ... now she has a mama)
(come with me.. it'll be alright)