You likely feel forgotten. You are not. You never will be. I see you. I see your tears fall and feel the same wetness, hot and relieving, rolling down my cheeks as well. I feel the gut wrenching brokenness your heart must have experienced. I know you did what you thought was best. What would give her the best opportunities. What would give her the best chance at a full life. You did what you thought you had to do and slipped back into the shadows. Perhaps you watched to be sure she was safe. Or maybe you took one last lingering look and turned and walked away, unable to look back for the ache threatening to cause your heart to burst out of your chest. You walked away and maybe you tried to forget or maybe you tried to cling to the memories you made in the short moments you'd had. I will never know or fully understand.
You may have had to leave. You may have had to make a hard choice. You may think you will be forgotten and your lives will just simply move forward. Separate. Forgotten. Gone. But you can't be separate. You can't be forgotten because I see you. Everyday I see you in her.
Let me assure you that you are not gone. You are very much here. I see the deep seriousness of your eyes when I look into hers. I see your beautiful grace and movement as I watch her spin, twirl, and dance. I know your intelligence as I watch her blossom and learn. I know your quirky sense of humor as I learn what tickles her funny bone. I see glimpses of the depth of agony you felt that day as I watch her shout and cry out in night terrors. You are here. You are talked about. You are loved. You are cherished.
It was her birthday this week. Your daughter, my daughter, our daughter just turned three. And while I sang, "Happy Birthday" and had the pleasure of making a cake of pink Minnie Mouse goodness and opening glittering packages, you were somewhere on the other side of the earth, likely thinking about the hardest, most broken day of your life and you likely wondered where your daughter was.
Our daughter is here. She is bright, she is happy, she is beautiful, and she is treasured. She is full of fight and spunk. She adores Minnie Mouse. She loves to sing Jesus Loves Me and offer our lunchtime prayer. She learns quickly and walks with a spring in her step on her tip toes. She loves to dance and do acrobatics. She loves to have Mama close to rock her and rests peacefully in the security of my arms. She wants to be loved. She wants to be close, all the time.
China Mama, I will never comprehend the circumstances behind all that happened that March day, but I will assure you, our daughter will be raised to hold the highest esteem for the gift of life you gave her. I wish so much that you could be the one raising her for the sake of you both, to spare you both the brokenness of such loss. But I thank God and glorify Him for allowing me the honor of stepping into the place you felt you were not able to go.
Today I celebrate Hannah and all that is her life. Today, I celebrate you and all I see of you in her.