Tonight I am sitting on my couch and I am restless. 2 suitcases sit by my front door, filled to the brim. My carry on bag waits and the television blares in the background, reminding me of the world I will leave behind. The stories on the news channel beg me to lose my faith in humanity, the stories I know by heart force me to go on.
I can not believe that I am actually about to start the journey that I have been waiting my entire life for. I am being allowed to live in Haiti. I am being given the honor of serving the people that I love most in this world. I have been deemed worthy to hold their children in my hands… forever. I am humbled, forced to my knees in gratitude to the One who created the desires of my heart, and now allows me to live them, all the days of my life.
Tonight I realize the hugeness of what is before me. It comes and goes in waves of consciousness. Right now I am vividly conscious of the fact that I will always reference this night in my memory as the night before the rest of my life. The night before… This commitpahpobe is about to to commit to forever. Never has it been easy but not for a moment have I doubted that it wasn’t right. I imagine that it’s like the night before a marriage. Exhilarating, scary and oddly calm. What happens next will change my life forever. The life I am about to enter into requires dedication, passion and hard work. It rewards me with companionship, fulfillment and the half of my heart that has always been missing. In a marriage you begin with vows and so tonight I proclaim my vows to these little ones. They are my promises, from the deepest depths of my heart.
Dear Precious Child,
I vow to love you, unconditionally. No matter how frustrated I may become by all the diapers, noise and messes you make, I promise I will always love you and I promise to tell you everyday. I promise to search my heart in the moments when you are difficult and find the things that make you precious and uniquely you. I promise to appreciate them and to love you for who you are.
I vow to hug you. I promise to give you the dignity of a loving human touch. I promise not to hurt you but to heal your hurts to the best of my ability. I promise to give you the hugs and kisses that you crave.
I vow to teach you about the One who brought me to you. I promise to show you about His love. I promise to help you pray and grow in Him. I promise to teach you songs and stories that you will remember forever, all about our God.
I vow to fight for you. I can not promise that everything I wish for you will come true but I can promise that every single day I will do everything in my power to make your lives better. I promise to stand up for you when you can not stand up for yourselves. I promise to put your needs ahead of my own. I promise to never back down out of fear, but to be brave when you need me to. I promise that you are worth my energy.
I vow to do everything I can to prepare you for the families you are going to join. I promise to let you share your fears and thoughts with me without judgment or criticism. I promise to answer your questions and ease your anxieties over the changes that you will face. I promise to be honest with you and to help you become comfortable with the idea of a new family. I promise that I will send you home with a mom and a dad who are loving, patient and kind.
I vow to remember that you are the reason I am here. No matter how much work piles up before me I will always remember that nothing is more important than you. I promise to never push you aside to focus on “more important” things. I promise that YOU are the most important thing in my life. I promise to spend more time with you than on my computer, on the phone or in meetings. I promise that I will put aside everything, without a second thought if you need me.
And, I vow to be the greatest “mama” I can be to you. I can only imagine the pain that your mama(s) have. One who held you for all those months, feeling you move, dreaming of who you would be, giving you a name, giving you life. And another, one who decided that her heart and home had room. One who learned of this little one who needed her and said “yes”. One who will take the life you were given and walk it with you. I realize that the roles those women play are so much greater than the moments I will have, but I promise that while you are “mine” I will love you with the love of a mother. I will cherish, protect and encourage you. I promise to tuck you into bed, kiss you every day and know every little thing that makes you, you. I promise to be there for you while they cannot. I promise to teach you, through my actions how you deserve to be cherished.
I vow to always do my very best, for you.