Oh, My Girl, I cannot believe you are a senior this year and nearing graduation. I can't even think about it or write these words without tears gathering.
I will never forget the day you burst forth into my life and the day I ran with open arms into yours.
You, little thing, were my heart's desire.
This road of adoption is something I wouldn't trade for anything. It's something I'd do over—again and again and again—in a heartbeat. But it's something I wouldn't wish on anyone. Because it was the hardest thing I've ever done. The most agonizing. Gut-wrenching. I didn't know if I'd get to take you home. I didn't know if you'd be mine. I felt so out of place in that hospital. I felt like an invited and welcomed thief. I felt like an invited and welcomed intruder. Internal anguish. And I cried a hidden ocean in that hospital restroom before you breathed your first breath.
|My very first glimpse of you. My hands on you. Little baby, were you praying?|
I wouldn't wish it on anyone because you know your momma ... when I fall, I fall hard. And the day I held you in my arms, I fell hard.
You were mine.
And all through your baby years, you and I were joined at the hip. A permanent mark wrinkled my clothes from you backing up and plopping down in my lap with your book to read. You'd just begin backing up, and my lap had better be there.
But adoption was hard because I had to deal with internal struggles like—
~What if she doesn't love me when she finds out?
~What if she is disappointed in me?
~What if she is disappointed in life?
~What if she longs for another?
And I've had to deal with issues and tell you things over the years that I wasn't sure I'd survive ...
~You didn't grow in my tummy because my tummy was broken.
~You grew in someone else's tummy.
~I believe God gave you to me because I prayed for you for so many years.
~You might hear that I'm not your real mother.
~Someone might ask you who your real mother is.
Until someone experiences adoption, they never know how much pain the word "real" can cause.
But I did survive because I had no idea at the time of your birth that God would do such sweet things ...
~Let you favor me, just a little.
~Give you a freckle on your arm in the same spot as mine on my arm.
~Give you a heart to love the broken.
~Give you a heart that says I'm real.
~Give you a heart that trusts God.
And I remember the first time we talked about adoption, and I was scared to death. And you acted like you didn't even care. You wanted to keep playing with your toys. You made it so easy for me, and I sighed a huge breath of relief. And you still loved me. I couldn't believe it—you still loved me.
My Girl, through all the uncertainties, the thing I'm certain of is that I love you as though I'd given you life. I couldn't love you any more. You were never my second choice, you'll always be my first. I choose you.
You are joy. You are beautiful. You make me laugh. I love shopping with you, dancing with you while I'm shopping with you, singing out loud in the car with you. I love that you talk to me, that you share your heart's secrets with me. I love watching you walk away from me when we arrive at church to go work with the children. I love watching you walk into the hospital to volunteer your love to premature babies and whatever else they need you to do. I love your sentimental soul, that tears can prick your eyes instantly. I love that your fierce strength can surface in 60 seconds, including your protectiveness over me and your little sister.
I want you for my BFF for the rest of my life.
Because you say back to me—"You were never my second choice, you will always be my first. I choose you."
And you have no idea the joy that brings to me, the tightness that gathers in my chest, the feeling that my heart could just 4th-of-July-explode with happiness and love and relief.
Oh, My Girl, with all that I know and have experienced ... I wish adoption for you. I do. Because God has given you a heart for children. And when you tell me that you'll adopt one day, I fully believe you will. And I can't help but smile over the fact that you've redefined generational bondage. And I wish adoption for you because when you fall, you fall hard ... just like your momma. And every child needs someone to fall for them, to fall hard for them.
I couldn't be more proud of you, proud that God let me be a part of your life—your little days and your big days.
I am blessed, and I know it.
You are my girl ... my real girl.
And I love you ... I really love you.