Dear Birth Mother, our baby turned three yesterday. Only we pretended it was Sunday because she can't read a calendar yet and it just worked better. I watched her opening presents, dressed in the pink satin dress we bought her on Shamian Island, big gold bow in her hair, teeny gold ballet slippers on her feet and I ached. This baby, we love her so, but her being here with us means you've suffered greatly, have sacrificed much. I know that now. Whatever circumstances led you to the choice you made to leave her, it must have ripped you up. And, so, these early days of February must be made of sadness and longing for you. I thought that while I watched our girl signing 'thank you' for her presents, thought it while she dug into her chocolate chocolate cake, thought it watching gift after gift involve her beloved emms; everyone knows her so well. Everyone except the one who conceived and grew her. She is beautiful, this baby. She is somber, smiling only when really tickled, laughing only when it's hard-won, but she is happy, still. I know that. She is adored by her sisters and brothers. They dote on her, laughing at her smallest antics. God has used her to break them and us for the orphan. That's the most beautiful gift she's given us. This baby, she is healthy. Her palate is repaired, she can eat anything (but won't because she's a stinker), she runs, she is learning to make sounds and using her hands to speak to us when her mouth fails her. She lacks for nothing, I promise that. I held her this morning and whispered to her of you. This baby we have birthed, you and I, she blesses me. Raising her is a relay race and your leg is over, but you ran it well. You carried her, labored for her, birthed her, loved her enough to let her go. You are valiant. Her foster mother ran her leg and it was brutal, but it made our girl strong, birthed in her a fighting spirit. Now it's my leg and I'm running hard, with this baby we share. But I want you to know, need you to know, that I see you. That I spent the better part of the last nights laying in bed praying comfort for you. Asking Father to supernaturally give you the sense that all is well with your girl. That His peace would cover you like the softest of blankets as you wonder what became of her. I wish now I'd followed others examples who have left signs at their child's finding sites, telling all who see it that this child has been found and is going to be forever loved. Entreating mother's and father's hearts to be at rest from the ache of the not-knowing. Wish we'd taken the time to find that doorway outside that furniture store, but we were overwhelmed with her needs and didn't. So let this be my sign, posted for all to see. We have found this girl. She is home now and is forever loved. And this won't replace your ache, but I pray it eases it some. She is home. She is loved. And you, as her bearer, will always be dear to us. Will always have a main part in her story. And we will tell her.
So on this day after, I honor you. I feel strange thanking you, when it is only terrible brokenness that forced your hand, but thank you. Father has brought her home and she is well-loved. Let that soak into your mama's heart. Happy birthday, birth mama.
This is me being real. And totally unprepared for the bittersweet that was her birthday. This mama's heart has been burdened. May it always be so and may the burden lead me to prayer for her salvation and peace.