Monday, March 14, 2016

A Letter to My Birthday Girl

Dear Hai-Leigh,

Today is a special day.  One filled with many emotions.  It's the day you were born.  Last night, as I tucked you in and stroked your hair, I could not help but think of your birth mother.   My guess is she's probably thinking of you too.  I don't know her story or anything about her.  I don't know if she wasn't allowed to raise you, couldn't afford the care you would need, or if she felt pressured to let you go because she knew people in her culture would look down upon the very large birthmark/mole that covers a large portion of your back and there you would have a very hard time with it when you got older. (We call it a beauty mark.  And here, we work hard to celebrate differences, hoping you always believe what makes you different is what makes you beautiful.)  But what I do know is this...she loved you.  She loved you enough to carry you in her tummy for at least seven months or more.  She loved you so much that one year ago today, she laid your little two-pound body in a special place where she knew you would quickly be found.  She had to have bundled you up tight, because the temperature there is in the mid-30's this time of year.   I like to imagine that she even watched from afar to make sure you were quickly retrieved.  She loved you enough to give you life.  And for that, I will forever be grateful to her.  My heart also hurts for her knowing how difficult that must have been.  I admire her strength.  I admire yours.  That must be where you get it from.

Being so tiny and fragile,  I imagine you had to be quite the fighter in order to survive.   Though I don't know all of them,  I will always appreciate all of the wonderful people who dedicated their time to nursing you to good health and raising you throughout those first eleven months of your life.  It is evident that you were well loved and taken care of.

It has been one month since I first held you in my arms.   I began loving you long before I knew you, but that love continues to grow stronger and stronger with each passing day.

I love your little squinty-eyed, toothy grin and your sweet nature.  Your Pops calls you Smiley Hai-leigh.  I like it and think the nickname fits you perfectly. 

I love that you have a feisty side too.  I get to see it each time your littlest big brother messes with you.  Which is a lot.  He means well, but God love him, he doesn't realize how big he is compared to how tiny you are.

I love the connection you have with your other big Brother and your Sister.  It was immediate and came so naturally.  What a blessing for this Momma to witness!

Your Daddy? He's crazy in love with you too!  Each day you love him back a little more, and it makes him so happy.  You have been cared for by mostly women, so he understands that it has taken you a little bit longer to get used to him.

I personally love that you are a Momma's girl.  Although, it doesn't allow me to be very productive, I get in lots and lots of long awaited snuggle time.  I love that you cry out for me and give a sigh of relief each time you are back in my arms.  We have had to take the front of your crib off and put it up against my side of the bed, because you just want to be close to me.  In the middle of the night, I will hear you begin to whimper.  Then, I feel your little arm reach out, and as soon as your hand touches me, you get silent and go back to sleep.  I love that too.

It's funny, much like the labor of birthing your brothers and sister, I have forgotten about the pain of the process that brought you here.  The waiting. The paperwork. The fees.  The fundraising.  All of it quickly fades away and is easily forgotten.  And all that matters is that you are here, safe and sound in my arms.   I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

People say that you are so blessed to get to be a part of our family, but I see things just the opposite.  I feel extremely honored that the Lord entrusted us with you and allowed us to be your parents.  I also feel undeserving of such an incredible gift.   We needed you just as much as you needed us.  If not more.

You are a beautiful example of what can happen when we let go of our fears and hold on to faith.  You are EVERYTHING that we prayed you would be.  And more.  You fit so perfectly into our family.  It is really amazing to witness.  God is so good.  He really, really is.  He cares about all of the details of our lives.  He provided the strength and resources needed to bring you into our family.  There is no way we could have done it without Him and His people.  It is my prayer that your life and your story might one day inspire others to take that same leap of faith.

You have already brought us SO MUCH joy!  I feel so blessed to have you call me "Momma" and to get to celebrate this day with you.  I look forward to getting to know you better and celebrating many, many more years together.


Love always,