You, dear daughter, are mine.
You were born in my heart almost exactly nine months before I held you in my arms. You are mine.
Though I know your dark eyes and black hair look nothing like my green eyes and blonde hair, you are mine.
Your arms grip my neck just as tightly as your brothers and sisters when they give me a hug. You are mine.
I know you are adopted. I cannot un-know that fact. You didn’t join our family in the way your three siblings did, but it doesn’t matter. You are mine.
You struggled with what family really meant once you had one, and the walking through the struggle with you cemented you to me. You are mine.
Seeing the panic on your face when something triggered fear inside you broke my heart and in the healing, you became even more mine than before.
Completing family history forms at a new doctor’s office always fills my heart with a sadness that comes from a deep place; you weren’t always mine.
I check the boxes I know to check. I write “unknown” over vast portions of the form because you weren’t always mine.
I hear results and discover that there is so much pain in the unknown. I WISH I knew, but I don’t. You, after all, weren’t always mine.
There are nights when you wake up crying and I don’t know what the cause of your heartache is. I don’t know the things you have seen. I don’t know if the voices you heard when you cried at night spoke in gentle tones, harsh tones, or if they spoke to you at all. You weren’t always mine.
There are days when you tell me you miss the land of your birth. You cry because you miss the friend you had Before. I cry because I don’t know if he will ever find a forever yes in a family of his own. You weren’t always mine.
The things you experienced… oh… I wish how much you knew I would have walked them with you if only I had been there. You remind me how lonely you were, how you wished for a mama to be there. It’s like your heart knew what was missing all along. You knew what belonging felt like in the deepest part of you because you had once been someone else’s.
Someone with dark eyes and black hair halfway across the world knew you before I did. Someone felt you squirm and kick inside of her belly before I knew you. She experienced the breathlessness of your limbs stretching against her ribs; she knew the exquisite pain of the moment you were born.
I don’t know the circumstances that led to your birth mama needing to let others raise you, but my heart shatters when I think about it. Though I am hesitant to assign emotions to an event I cannot possibly hope to fathom, I know that there was pain in the loss.
A family torn apart by circumstances bigger than I can understand.
You are mine. You are also hers. You have lived the grace of being loved by not just one, but two mamas who love you more than you know.
There are eyes that burn like fire when they see the injustices of this world.
Families broken, abandonment, loss.
They burn with a purpose, to find hope. To renew. To restore.
If I could have any wish granted, I would wish for your birth mama to know you have found the family they hoped you would find. We aren’t perfect, but we know the Perfect One, and He is doing a good thing here… a new thing… a restoration of the deepest parts of us we didn’t even know needed restoring.
I sometimes question the method to the madness, because we are surely living in the middle of a hurricane in these days. The WHY word falls from my lips with abandon; I do not hesitate to ask the questions that scream inside of me.
HE restores. HE fulfills. HE renews.
He gave me you because he knew I needed you. He saw my broken self and your lonely heart and brought our broken pieces together and created something new; something beautiful.
He heals. For this, I am grateful.
This is the month we talk about adoption. Those of us who have lived the chaos of adoption plead with others on behalf of the ones who have no voice. Rise up! Answer the call! Don’t close your eyes against the brightness of need that exists!
I’m tempted at times, dear daughter, to grow weary. There are SO many children without a family to call their own. I’m tempted at times to throw my hands up in frustration when I hear the ugliness of souls who believe adoption is only for the elect, and those elect happen to live in this country. Truth is? EVERY child deserves a family, no matter where they were born. Truth is, it’s the hardest yes you might ever say, but these precious ones are worth it.
What would I do without you, my girl? The yes that led us to you, led us to a gift.
There is no way to communicate the ways in which you have changed me, dear daughter. Because of you, I have been systematically stripped of being selfishness, judgmental, and self-sufficiency, and though there are more layers to go, I am not the person I was before you walked through those office doors one cold January day.
And to think, we could have missed this… we could have missed YOU.
I shudder at the thought.
I love you.