Saturday, September 22, 2012

18 Months Old

September 22, 2012

A year and a half.  Perhaps because we missed Lainey's one year birthday by just three weeks, today seems like a big milestone.

I'll be honest; until recently, I've not thought much about what could have been.  What could have been for us or for Lainey.  I try to avoid jumping into her sad story or our sad story because I don't want people to pity. Her, or us.  I don't want folks to think Lainey is lucky to be "saved."

Truthfully, she saved us.  This little girl who, eighteen months ago was abandoned by ber birth mother, saved us.  Saved us from heartbreak.  From lonely.  From a gaping hole in our hearts.  From wondering.

Indeed, her story is heartbreaking. And lately I've shuddered to think what her fate could have been. What a loss it would have been had she not been found by the young woman on her way home from a funeral.  Had she not cried at that moment and been heard.  No one would learn how smart she is.  How cunning she can be.  How coordinated she is, how much she loves to climb, and no one would know her infectious laugh.

And I shudder to think what my fate could have been, had she not been noticed.

I wouldn't know the sweet feeling of her playing with my hair and saying, "Detty, Mama.  Detty, Mama."

I wouldn't understand the pride when she reaches her hands out to us at the dinner table, lowers her head and mumbles words to God, mimicking Ty as he prays before dinner.

I wouldn't know the joy when she runs so fast toward me that she tumbles into my lap or legs, knowing I'll catch her.

I wouldn't know the laughter I am capable of by making her laugh.

I would know the feeling of her sweet little fingers on my cheeks, turning my face toward hers so she can kiss me, snuggle me, snot me or forehead bump me.

I can't imagine this world or my world without our little Ethiopian daughter in it.  As she grows, I am more and more amazed by her beauty, her personality, and that she is ours.  I am more and more in love with her, even when I can't believe it's possible.

18 months ago, God gave me a gift.  As I live in awe of our daughter, I am reminded to give the glory to God.  He created Lainey - the beautiful and wonderful little thing she is.

God calls us to care for the widows and orphans.  I'm ashamed to say His calling is not why we adopted.  We adopted because we desperately wanted to grow our family.  How amazing that God took the greatest desire of my heart and matched it with His calling, teaching me more about who He is and who I am in Him along the way.

18 months old.  18 months.  Crazy to think where Ty and I were 18 months ago, probably just living a normal day, unsuspecting.  Crazy to think that God knew exactly what was going on.

I wish I could talk with Lainey's birth mother.  I wish I could understand her and help her.  I wish I could meet the woman who gave me the gift of a beautiful, smart, funny daughter.  I wouldn't judge her the way I might [shamefully] judge others.  I would just want to know her.

And the woman who found her.  She could've just kept walking and it is probably no one would have known any different.  I wonder if she wonders about the baby she found whose umbilical chord was still attached.  Does she have any sense of her awareness and strength? What it meant for my life?

18 months.

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