Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bittersweet Milestones

Anna has passed some bittersweet milestones in the last couple months:

The day she was born.

The day she entered the orphanage care center.

Having lived longer with us than in Ethiopia.

As these dates pass and I remember what we were feeling a year ago . . . I wonder what Anna was feeling. And I wonder what her mother, assuming she is still alive, so far away in Ethiopia, feels now. I wonder if she thinks of her child a hundred times a day—or a thousand.

The circumstances of our adoption provided us with zero information about Anna’s family. We know only her home city. Even her birthdate is an estimate. On the days surrounding I wondered about the circumstances of her birth and prayed her mother would be able to trust that her child is being loved and cared for. I wish she could know that though she is unknown, she is not forgotten.

I do not think so much about Anna’s father—I suppose I feel a maternal connection to her mother that I do not feel toward him—but her mother has been strong in my mind and heart even as we waited for our referral. At times I would feel a strong need/desire to pray for our child’s mother as she carried her child, for everything from peace of mind to good nutrition. Was she strong and healthy? Was she sick and afraid? Was she wondering how she would ever care for her child, poor and alone? Or was she glowing with excitement, picking out names and dreaming of all her child would do and be? What happened to tear her away from her own flesh and blood?

I wonder if that tiny baby had any inkling what she was losing that day her story changed course, that day of new rooms and nurses and other babies fussing in their cribs beside hers. I wonder did they tell her she would have a home again soon, and did it stop her cry.

I wonder what she remembers and how to keep it alive. I wonder how to tell her that although she’s been with us longer than not, she’s not more or less American than Ethiopian, not more or less ours than her first family’s, not anyone’s or anything except Yegetanesh, You belong to God, born at the right time and in the right place to become who He made her to be, for such a time as this.

Jesus, write me into your story
Whisper it to me
And let me know I'm yours

Rich Mullins


Jenny said...

Oh, Wendy...this is why I've been so silent lately - with the big b-day looming...I know it's supposed to be happy, but it just makes me all weepy. All these milestones leave me thinking of this time last year in Ethiopia and little dude's birth family. Your words managed to hit that spot in my heart...the spot that just can't always find the words.

Amy said...

While Roman's story is different, you still bring tears to my eyes. My only advice is do not count out the birthfather, even though you may not feel a connection. Do not also assume (as many do in our American culture) that there was no birthfather present after conception unless you know it for certain; it will be important to Anna that both birthparents are honored as she grows.

RMMcDowell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RMMcDowell said...

That's beautiful. I remember praying for Anna's mom, too, not knowing that it was Anna and not a boy. Anna is blessed to have two mommys who no doubt love her selflessly and forever.