What sometimes can get lost in the middle of all this excitement, this preparation for our little boy to come home, is the little girl who is returning to her first home.
The little girl who once was lost and now is found.
The little girl whose heart will forever break for the Mama and Baba she doesn’t get to know.
How I wish I could reunite them. How I wish I could share pictures, videos, share my heart.
I wish I could tell you, Qiao Qiao’s first mom and dad, how much we honor you. How we light candles for you. How every time your daughter succeeds I tell her she must get those gifts from you. You are so loved, so respected. We are so thankful that you made a plan for her to be safe, to be well, to be loved.
And I wish I could tell you how beautiful she is and how smart. I wish I could show you the art she makes and the way she imagines. I wish I could thank you for this gift you would never have wanted to give me. We are partners you and I. We may never meet this side of eternity but we are forever friends.
I bring back to China a little girl who only recently heard the story of where she was lost and how she was found. Who only now knows that her Chinese name is her second name in life not her first. I bring back a little girl who tentatively asks to see the place where she was gathered up from the surrender her first parents decided was best for her. You have not known heartbreak the way I have if you have never heard your child ask for this. All of heaven weeps for this one request.
My heart is full of love empathy and so much grief for my daughter, and for the parents who gave her life.
For every woman I will see in China who will silently cry when she sees our daughter laughing with us because she is remembering the daughter she gave up. Or the son.
Adoption is trauma.
Adoption is loss.
Adoption is disruption of all that was intended.
And adoption brings hope.
How do we survive the loss of all of those who share our DNA? How do we survive adrift amidst the 1.3 billion? Only by grace. Only through love.
And then, love brings us home again.
Today I honor my strong daughter. Her strong mother. And all the caregivers who walked her through her long seven years alone before we stood face to face.
Thank you for delivering this child safely to me. I promise I will love her well.