Here is an email I sent out last night, it pretty much sums up where we are. Happy Easter, thankful for my redeemer.
It has been almost 3 months since we have had custody of Melawit. For the first time, she has a little cold. Her nose is stuffy, she has a yucky cough. She just feels lousy. Like a typical 4 year old, she is a little fussy and demanding. Last night, her cough was really bothering her. She likes to lay flat in bed, no pillow, which doesn’t help the congestion. Around 4 a.m., she was tossing and turning, she couldn’t stop coughing. I gathered her in my arms, to prop her up. To help give her some relief, and to comfort her. When I pulled her into my arms, she opened her eyes and she flashed me the biggest smile. She put her hand on my face, and she said “thank you mommy”. She snuggled down with this little grin, and had a look of contentment on her face, even as she struggled to quiet her cough.
That little moment, that little piece in time, it was priceless. I lay and wept and held my baby girl. I know that she had excellent care the year she was with Gladney. However, There is only so much a caregiver can do when they are taking care of multiple children. I know her life before entering the center, was hard at best. This sweet, chubby cheeked girl has had sickness in her life, and I wondered who had been there to comfort her? Who had wiped her nose, or kissed her forehead to check for fever, held her when she ached? Who woke up in the middle of the night to give her medicine, or hold her tight, who rocked her back to sleep? The answer is: probably no one.
No one. Oh, how that makes my heart ache. I’ve read books, listened to lectures, sought advice from professionals. But no one has to tell me how important a parents nurture and love is. I see it in her little face. I see it when her eyes look in amazement at something new, I see it in the tenderness of her embrace when we comfort her. I see it when she belly laughs at the kitchen table. I see her leave her shell behind, and come alive. Simply from being loved.
I think of her birth mom daily, and I pray she knows how much we love Melawit. Her desire was for Melawit to be loved and cared for, to never know the devastation of poverty. I’m talking bone tired, belly aching, rag wearing, unable to read, corner begging, street sleeping poverty. That is what my daughter faced. So, I pray the Holy Spirit comforts her with a super natural peace. That this brave woman knows her sacrifices were not in vain, that we cherish and love this gift that has been given.
She IS our gift. It isn’t always easy. There are times where I feel defeated. There are moments I miss my quiet days. It isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. However, I still can’t believe I have been chosen to do this. That I get the honor of being her mother. That I get to be the one who gets these precious moments…AND the struggles.
And my blessings are tripled as I see my older kids enter into her story. As they love and care for her. As they give up space, and time, possessions, and the remote control. Then I see my sweet, tender husband fall completely and utterly in love with his daughter. I am blessed watching him teach her how to peddle a bike, or change her babies diaper while playing, take her swimming for the first time, and rock her to sleep. We are all in awe of this dazzling little one.
So, thats where we are. Tired, but full. Enjoying this journey together. If I forget to email or call you back, if you think I’ve dropped off the face of the earth, just know you are in my thoughts and prayers. We thank you for your continued prayers, for being a part of our story. Thank you for loving her, and loving us. We are grateful.