There’s so much to say. I’ve been putting it off because there’s so much that has happened, some is so painful, and some so glorious. But today’s your birthday and what better day than to start to share the story of how you became my daughter and I became your mom.
They say the best love is one that has been tested and yet endures. Our love is one that has been and continues to be tested.
Since I first met you four years ago, the journey has been one filled with joy and sadness. With plenty of hellos, and too many goodbyes.
When we first met, we had already begun the adoption process through Ethiopia. We told our adoption agency that we were looking to adopt a girl, under 5. Sierra Leone wasn’t an option, as adoption was pretty much impossible there. When I met you, to be honest, I protected a part of my heart from getting too close. I shut out any idea of you coming to live with our family.
On that first trip and meeting you, I was so drawn to you. Obviously because we sponsored you, but more so your spirit. So small, yet so smart and witty, so strong and determined. I dare not let my mind go to wondering what hell you had been through to make you that way. Instead, I admired your strength and courage. One of our first interactions was you sitting on my lap. Behind me was a room where we put all the fun things our team had brought to play with you and all the kids in the home. You told me to let you go in there. I said, “no, not yet” and you slapped me across the face. LOL, literally. I put you down, which you didn’t like and you proceeded to have a tantrum, I stepped over you and said “you’ll have to do better than that.” Time would show that as you struggled to break free from the hurts, you would do better than that to show me the depth of your pain.
We spent a lot of time together on that trip. For some reason on the last day I even let you draw with sharpie all over my arm. It made you happy, so I really didn’t care. You cried the day we said goodbye, and I tried to not let you into my heart for fear it would hurt too much. But you already made your place.
When I came home, we put your photo up on our fridge as our sponsored child for us to remember to pray for you. Your brothers and sister (especially your sister) insisted that you were the child we were adopting. I told them over and over again that they could call you their sister, but you were never coming to live in our home, that it just wasn’t possible. (“But with God, all things are possible.”) Somehow they just knew. I guess that is the childlike faith that Jesus spoke of.
It would take nearly 2 years, but God did do the impossible. In the months and years to come, I will write our story, the God story that brought us together. My hope is that it will help you to know that we loved you, but more importantly that your Father loves you so much. There is no other way to explain how you got here than Him. He worked miracle after miracle for you, His precious girl. My hope is that this story will encourage others to step out in faith and to be instruments of His healing to a broken world.
Today is a special day. Your first birthday here in our family. I will look at you with joy and awe of Him who has made you an orphan no more.
Happy 6th Birthday beautiful daughter,