These were the words uttered out of a small framed 6 year old little girl. As her Daddy walked along side her on a sweet "pajama" walk, these words of his young girl took him off guard. He had known there would be a day she would ask more questions. He had known there would be a day that telling his little girl that "God grew her in another Mommy's tummy" would not be all she needed to hear ... would not be enough for her curious heart. He had prepared for this moment and yet, still, it had hit him like a 100 bricks. Gulp, the lump in the throat appeared. Where in the world had she even heard the word "abandoned"?
That girl ... is mine.
These moments are ours.
Our almond eyed girl is full of questions. It started around 5 when I found her in her room in tears. When asked what she was crying about, she confided in me that she missed her "birth Mommy" and didn't know why. The pain was real. The ache was big and for me - I found no greater joy than sitting and holding her and telling her how thankful I was that she was "Chosen" for us. I found no greater joy than validating her pain and sorrow. I found no greater joy than letting her know that while I didn't understand her pain and sadness ... that if I let my mind imagine what that must feel like to not know your birth Mommy and to miss her so much - that the truth was, I think it would feel like too much to bare. I also had the privilege of letting her know that she could always share her sadness with me and I would do whatever I could to share in it ... though I understood that I would never truly know the depths of it. Her greatest loss in life was one of my greatest blessings. There is such irony in the world of adoption. Without trauma and tragedy - I wouldn't know this beautiful girl. I am "thankful" and "Joyful" to be able to sit and share in these moments - the same moments that are a result of a trauma and loss that leaves my little girl's heart with gaping holes. I "celebrate" referral days with sweet precious memories stored in my heart of how amazing it was to finally see her face. We celebrate "Gotcha Days" with gusto - the day we finally held our baby girl... the same "Gotcha Day" that must have been the most terrifying and confusing day for that same baby girl. The Gotcha Day that inflicted one more "Trauma" in her life is a sweet moment that we have hung as a canvas picture in our home. UGH!
During the past two years, my girl has begun to question her identity and with irony, I will tell you that not only have we embraced that - but we have enjoyed it! It's moments like these that take my breathe away. It's these moments - when she opens up her little heart and tells us her greatest secrets and fears ... that let's me know that this girl will be alright. What irony in that!
As we put her to bed one night, she began to cry. Asking her what was the matter ... she confided that she was sad and thought a lot about her birth Mommy. Together, the three of us sat in her bed - Mommy, Daddy and our beautiful girl. She shared openly her heart and then she said "can I show you something ... can I tell you a secret"? Getting up, she climbed out of her bed and opened her drawer full of socks. Digging for a bit, she returned with a stack of papers and with a gleam in her eye - she began to open them, one by one. She began to read to us the letters she had written and the pictures she had drawn for a birth Mommy she missed and longed to know. Together, we sat and talked together about what it would be like if the Lord did allow us to meet her one day. Together, we dreamed!
On that day she asked about being "abandoned", her Daddy told her about a government and the policies that might have led to her mother choosing to place her to be found. A week later, my girl returned from school with a picture she had drawn. Showing me her art, she began to explain the 4 people in the drawing ... her birth Daddy, her birth Mommy, she and a "brother or sister". Turning over the drawing, she read aloud "Dear Mommy, is my sibling a boy or a girl"? Putting the pieces of the puzzle together, she had come to the conclusion herself that if her birth Mommy had left her to be found - and that a "one child policy" might be the reason ... then she was the second and that meant she had a sibling. WOW!
My girl longs to know "Who" her birth Mommy is. We all do. We might not ever know that information. The likely hood that this will happen is very small. And so ... often I take my girl to the scriptures from Psalm 139: 13-16 for comfort "For your created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, When I was woven together in the depths of the earth - your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
I have done this a hundred times and yet one night ... it's as though those same scriptures truly began to come alive.
As we sat on the floor reading her kids bible, the story shared this same passage. She had been asking lots of questions over the week about her birth mommy and us not knowing who she might be. She had shared in that week that she wished and prayed that one day - the Lord would take her to China and let them meet. I had always responded that the Lord knows her ... even if we do not.
On this night, As we read her story and this passage - she stopped me suddenly. Looking over at her, her almond eyes had become as round as two quarters. Clinching my arm she said "If he saw me and knew me when I was being made in my birth Mommy's tummy ... then he DOES know who she is"!!
It was as though in those moments that the scriptures we had read 100 times were being read for the first time. In those moments, the Lord had opened her heart and her mind and they became the truth she needed to know. She looked up over the pages of her story and said "I'm going to memorize that one" ... and she did!
In the past few weeks, I discovered a new song on the radio station I listen to - "You are wanted" is the title. Each time it came on, it was as though the Lord would speak right into my ear and say "This one is for your girl". The song begins with the lyrics;
From the day you were born and took your first breath
You opened your eyes and in came the light
He was watching you
But all of your life, you couldn't shake the lies in your head
Saying you're a mistake
Oh, but you were made
By a God who knows your name
He doesn't make mistakes
You were wanted ...
The song is awesome. Be sure to listen to it. Anyhooo. One day, as the song came on, I turned to Maliah in the car and pointed at her "This is your song. I want you to listen to every lyric ... God wants you to know these things". Sheepishly she grinned trying to hide the delight she had in being made the center of attention. She listened and didn't say much. Each time we got in the car, that same song would come on (not so ironically). Each time, I would point to her again and say "Here's your song".
Days of this went by. Then, on Monday morning as I drove to drop her off at day camp, it came on again. This time, however, she pointed to me and said ...
"This song is for me. It says you want me. It says I'm not a mistake. It says - God wanted me too"
Something about that moment. Something about the confidence in her words. The Lord is working on my girl's heart. When He says in the bible that He'll make beauty from ashes, that He'll turn our sorrow to joy and mourning to dancing ... it's true ... IT. IS. TRUE.
My girl is going to be o.k.
You can hear the song "You are wanted" here.