(journal entry for AJ)
It is full of important days. Mother’s Day. Birthdays. Anniversaries of when we first met. It is heartache piled up around me, a new gauntlet for me to walk through every year. There was one wonderful year when all those days were happy days; I have to remember that year in those that follow when they are sad.
At some point we passed that dreaded marker I didn’t want to pass: That day when you would have been gone from me longer than you were here. I don’t know what date that was, and my brain refuses to figure it out. It is enough for my heart and soul to know that it happened. All I can do is pray that I did enough for you. That someday you will hear about me. That you will want to know. That some small precious part of you could will remember.
It seems fitting today that I finished up listening to a book I was grudgingly reading, upon the recommendation of a very dear and well-meaning friend. I made judgments the whole time, about the immaturity of the author’s voice, about the constant quoting of Bible verses. About evangelical callings and how I felt I was being insulted that my quiet, soul-centered and personal spirituality that has carried me through everything, was lacking because it is not Christ centered. But the last chapter that was delivered to me today was unexpected and dealt a hard blow. There was our story being played out halfway around the world to someone else. A sweet baby girl being taken from her loving foster mama and 13 foster siblings, the only home she had ever known, because birthing a child with your body counts more than birthing her with one's soul. Even when that child is abandoned, thrown away to starve and die. And as I listened, I realized that perhaps I had to be not truly enjoying the writing in this book or the author or the focus on scripture in order to build up my armor for what was going to hit.
Because what happened was truth.
I always said, especially when it came to us, there was no such thing as coincidence. We were brought together for a reason. But we were also torn apart for a reason. I knew the answer would have to come later, that there would have to be so much pain and hurt and sorrow first before I could start to see things.
And today, I saw even more clearly the truth behind much of what I had come to accept in these 18+ months.
What I realized today was that I had asked for this. Not just a child, a little girl to hold and love and call my own. But I asked for transformation, to be made a better, more loving, more giving person. I wanted my path, my purpose to be shown to me. And I wanted others to see it as well with no doubt.
The Universe granted that to me so fully in all of this. There is no doubt in my heart that my soul, for as long as I can remember had been asking for this: to be a mother. This is the passion and calling that I have to be, it is what I have to be, and we showed everyone around us how true that was. I thought I had already fought for it to happen, but I did not know struggle; I did not know pain. I did not know the face of grief and the darkest pieces of myself
I had to pay a price if I was truly going to transform. I am a different woman, a different person walking in the world now. I know things not everyone else does, but because of what I have gained, now I can show that much more compassion for others. I can understand trauma, loss and grief on different levels. This will come into play in my nursing career.
But that career will always be secondary, secondary to what this heart was created to do, which is to love you and others.
I can only trust that if I have been able to walk and struggle through this and see the greater purpose, that your journey has been the same. Perhaps it is only understood in the deepest, wisest part of your soul, and not something you may ever consciously be aware of, but your journey in this was for a reason as well.
That moment of trauma will have changed you. I can only hope that with all the love I gave you that it manages to be a change of good, and not a haunting scar.
I miss you, my baby girl. You will always be my daughter, my special one, the place I throw so much love and tears. Grow up brave and strong and loving and smart. I cannot even begin to imagine what you look like now at 3, but there must be dark blonde curls that are kissed with red and gold when the sun shines. That impish smile, and that deep laugh of yours still rings out. And those oh so serious hazel eyes, how they watched from a stern and solemn face, taking in everything before you act or move or think. You are the most beautiful little girl. Please know that I will always, always love you.
Happy birthday, my sweet monkey bean.