Saturday, December 13, 2008

Letting Go

When you came to me, on that starry night
And I held you in my arms.
Moonlight on your face,
Heaven in your eyes
And you stole away my heart.
As you grew,
I always knew your destiny.
I knew someday you would have to leave,
But still, I can feel a mother’s pain,
So I cry.
Is it selfish when I do?
I don’t want to lose my life with you
Though I see the time has come to let you go
You know it doesn’t make is easier.
And so,
I will say my prayers with you my child
Wherever you
may go with love,
my love.
Is it selfish when I do?
I don’t want to lose my life with you.

I need to warn you now, this letter is an emotional one. It will be at times horribly selfish sounding. It might be scattered and senseless. But it will be real. None the less I think it’s only fair that I tell you in advance what to expect. Right now as I write to you my head is aching, like it has been for the last 3 days, it is aching from the tears that I have cried and the ones I am holding back. Next week my "Ella" will be going to her home in France. A woman who is a stranger to me will sweep into our gates and become the luckiest person in the world. And I will watch it happen. A moment that I have always known was coming but that I never possibly could have prepared for. She has a mommy and now she will be real.

On my rational side I can sit back and what a great, amazing thing this is for her! She is getting what we have all been praying for, she is finally going home! Doesn’t she deserve a real live outside of this place. She needs a mama who fusses over her. Someone to dress her up and show her off to the world. Someone to rock her to sleep every night and to hold her when she is sick, or sad, or scared. She is going to a place that God chose for her. This mother is the one that He handpicked because He knew that they would be perfect for each other. He created one for the other. The opportunities she will have are endless and I am so excited for her. She will go home when she is only 13 months old. With adoptions from Haiti taking an average of 18 months that is a miracle. An orphanage could never be a real home for her, no matter how much we here love her. She is so lucky to be going to her home being so young!

But here comes the selfish part. Because her adoption went through so quickly I have to give her up much sooner than I ever thought. I was convinced I would always have a few more months. And as good as I know this will be for her I don’t want to let her go! I think back on the things I have learned since coming to Haiti and one of the biggest is that time goes by right before your eyes and no amount of time is ever “enough” If I had been with her for years and years I don’t think I would still be ready to say goodbye. I love that baby more than I have ever loved anyone and now I have to trust someone else to take care of her, a person who I know nothing about. I know if a parent who had adopted from Haiti were reading this I would sound horrible. How selfish could I be, wishing that this sweet little girl would spend even more time away from her mother just because I want her with me? I realize how it sounds but I also know that you who are my friends and supporters will allow me to share my struggles with you no matter how rotten they make me sound. How do I know that she is going to be good to her? How do I know that she will raise her to be kind and gentle and happy? How do I know that she will take her to church and teach her about Jesus? I guess it comes down to the fact, and this is what makes it the hardest, that I don’t know! In my life there have been a lot of moments when I have had to trust God to be in control but I think this is the most difficult of them all. It is one thing to trust God with your life, it is another to give over someone you love more than life. It is true surrender and one I am being forced to make. I am thankful for it no matter how bad it hurts because I know it is a lesson that I have to learn. In giving everything over to Him you gain what you couldn’t ever get on your own. I do not love Ella with a love that was mine. It was a love that God gave me for this beautiful little baby and even if it means that I have to say goodbye, He taught me how to love through her. He gave her to me to teach me that lesson and whatever hurt I feel is losing her is worth the lesson of love that I have found.

I remember the first time I met "Ella". I was on the balcony one afternoon in April and Chris came up the stairs with the most beautiful tiny little baby and my heart was gone. She was 4 months old, weighed 10 lbs and had these eyes that captivated me! She watched me everywhere I went on that first day and since then I have been helpless to keep my mind off of her. I remember how light and tiny she was and how she loved kisses! If I kissed her cheek she laughed and laughed! The first time I gave her a sucker she made the biggest mess and threw a HUGE fit when it was gone. I think back on how many memories I have of her and I can remember for hours. It doesn’t seem fair, that I would have these memories when her mother wont. If I could speak to her I would tell her everything! I wish I could describe to her how she felt as a tiny little baby sleeping in my arms. I wish somehow I could make her see my memories of her eating her first birthday cake or the sounds of her very first baby giggles. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know what I could possibly say. It just doesn’t feel right that I would have those memories and she won’t. I got to have her, only because she didn’t. The sadness that I feel is the joy in her heart. I never knew that one single moment could bring 2 people such opposite emotions. I don’t know how I will face that day. I think the only way will be to look through my sadness at her joy, otherwise I will never last.

I think it goes without saying but I ask you to pray for me this week. Pray that my last days with Ella will be filled with love and joy and that if possible maybe time could slow down, just for a little while. Please pray for the language barrier between her mother and me. I hope that I could at least be able to tell her how much her little girl was loved here at GLA and how much joy she brought me. I don’t know how much English she will speak and I would be so disappointed if I felt like I didn’t know her at all when she left here. More than anything else pray for this baby. Pray that she will be 100% healthy when her mom gets here. Pray that her adjustments will go well in her new home and pray that she will grow up in a place that teaches her to love Jesus and serve him with all of her heart.

Letting her go in faith and peace,

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