365 days have passed since we brought that little five month old baby home. 52 weeks have have gone by since that phone call, that changed our lives forever.
Today is a very special day for us. We are celebrating and remembering every moment, every laugh, every tear, every joy and every pain. We have looked through the hundreds of photos taken. We have watched videos of her learning how to clap, crawl, walk and the first time she laughed. Each memory is special, and each memory I will hold on to forever.
I have briefly written on here what it is like being a mother. And although I could write on that subject for hours, that’s not what I am going to do today. Today I am going to write a letter. A letter to our daughter.
My little Darling,
I sit to write you this letter, and before I have even begun, tears have filled my eyes. There is so much love in my heart for you, there is so much I want to say, words will never suffice. But I will try.
Years before you were born, you were prayed for. I knew I was made to be a mother. I didnt know when, and I didn’t know how, since my body couldn’t make babies, I couldn’t have my own, but I knew that one day I would have a child in my arms. So every night I prayed for that child, I cried for that child that would one day need my love. And that child is You. I prayed that you would be safe and protected, that you would be healthy and strong and above all, that you would love Jesus with all your heart.
On January 23rd I received the call that would change our lives forever. It was from our social worker, and it was the call we had been waiting for. It was the call for you. She quickly told me about you, a five month old baby girl in the hospital that needed a home the next day. Before she even finished, I knew our answer would be yes. I called your Dad at work, he was as shocked as I was when I told him the news. We quickly prayed about it, and even though we didn’t know how long we would have you, a week, a month, a year or forever, we said yes. I called the social worker back and told her our answer, she gave the address of the hospital and told us to be there at two o’clock the following day. We couldn’t sleep that night because we were so excited. The next day it seemed the hours took longer, and the minutes passed slower. Finally two o’clock came around and we found ourselves in front of your hospital room. You were sick with respiratory distress and your little lungs suffered from asthma. We had to sign dozens of papers and talk to several people before we could meet you. When it was time, my heart was pounding and my palms were sweaty. When we saw your face for the first time we were both silenced by your beauty. Your eyes were so big, and your lips were so sweet. When I was finally able to hold you in my arms, you clung to me right away. You looked into my eyes and I told you I already loved you. Because I did.
When we brought you home that day, we couldn’t stop staring at you. We watched everything you did, and smiled at every sound you made. Those first few weeks are a blur. A blur from total bliss and total sleep deprivation. It was a big change and huge adjustment for all of us. You didn’t laugh or smile for a week. You were so scared, you didn’t want us out of your site for a second, in fear that we wouldn’t come back. You would only sleep on our chest, with your head on our heart. We would take turns holding you during the night, I would have you the first half, and Dad would have you the second. You would sleep, but we wouldn’t.
Finally we found a rhythm. We knew what made you happy and what made you sad. We figured out what you liked and didn’t like. We got you on a sleep schedule, life became easier and we all become happier.
And now, here we are..12 months later. And you are the sweetest, happiest and funniest little girl, and truly the joy of our lives. It has been such an incredible year. You have changed us…for the better. I have never loved, like I have loved you. I have never experienced such joy, as I have experienced being your Mother. We have learned so much this last year, but the thing we have learned the most is the thing that has been the hardest. Surrender. When we brought you home, we didn’t know how long we would have you, we hoped it was forever, but you still had a Mother and Father out there who loved you, and wanted to fight for you. As I write this now, you still aren’t officially “ours”. But what we have realized is, you will never be ours. You are Gods. You are Gods beautiful and perfect daughter. He can choose to take you to be with him at any moment. He can choose to send you back to your birth family, but for right now…he has chosen to intrust you to us. He has given us a gift, and that is you. There have been others who have fought for you, many court hearings have been had to determine where you should go. Days have gone by that we thought for sure we would lose you. On those days, it felt as though our hearts were being ripped our of our chest. I would spend hours crying, begging God to keep you. But then I realized I can’t beg the creator for what I want, when he knows what is best for his creation. I can’t even ask that you would be ours forever. But what I can do, is love you…with everything inside me and every fiber of my being. I can love you even though that love may never be returned, because thats how God loves us. We can be fully yours, even though you aren’t fully ours. And I can pray for you. I can pray for your heart and your mind and thank Him for everyday we have had with you. I can tell Him how much I love you, that you are the desire of my heart and the joy of my life. And at the end of every prayer I can lift my hands in surrender, and say Not my will, but Yours be done. Thats what I have done..everyday.
One day you will realize that the color of our skin is different. One day you will know that you came from someone else. You will ask questions about your Mother and Father. And I will always tell you the truth. They loved you. I know that, because I could see it in their eyes when I met them. But as you will learn in life, sometimes when you love something, you have to let it go. They wanted what was best for you, and at this time, it is with us. I only met them briefly, but you have your mothers eyes and your fathers smile. And maybe your kind heart comes from them, because when your father said good bye to me, he also said “thank you, for loving our girl”. I pray for them every night, I pray that one day they will experience Gods love and His forgiveness, and that by us loving you, they will experience His love as well.
No matter what happens today, tomorrow or in ten years from now, please know that you have been loved so much, and by so many people. You are surrounded by it, you will never escape it, and it will follow you everywhere you go. You have Grandparents who adore you, you have uncles, aunties, cousins and so many friends who love you. You have a family here, all of our friends have become your aunties and uncles as well. You have a church who loves you and pastors who pray for you and have dedicated you. You have LOVE, so much of it. And you have a Mommy and Daddy whose world spins because of you.
As you grow up, life will bring so many things. You will find happiness and you will feel sadness. You laugh and you will cry, you will learn joy and pain. But in all these things remember this, the greatest thing you will ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return.
Your Dad and I were made to love, and you my little darling, were made to be loved.
You have our hearts-
Momma and Daddy
There are hundreds of photos I could post of our first year with her. Here are some of our favorites.