The rhythmic lulling of the train rocks her sweet little body back and forth. It’s almost 1am and we’re about half way through our 15 hour train ride. I drifted in and out of consciousness for a few hours, but sleep isn’t coming easily tonight. The crickety light above my head squeaks on and off as the train suddenly lurches to a stop for what seems like the hundredth time. My new daughter and I are sharing a bench inside our train compartment. She sleeps at my feet as she tosses and turns, coughing in her sleep. I’m so thankful for her life.
I keep glancing over at her unable to fully comprehend all that has happened since we met her just about a month ago. She came dancing into our lives full of joy and resiliency. Her frog-footed little jammies covering her sweet baby skin are a reminder that she has been found. A reminder that she is not only wanted and loved, but absolutely adored.
As I listen to her breathe heavily, I feel a little like I’ve just fled from a war zone with her and left too many innocent lives behind. The guilt of that creeps into my throat and threatens to choke me as tears well up in my eyes. Images of cherub-faced-babies from her groupa flash through my mind each time I look at her. What are their stories? Why were they deemed so unworthy of being loved?
When those thoughts get close, really really close to the surface of my being, I stuff them back down inside because it’s too much for this human mind to comprehend and entirely too much for this heart of mine to endure. It’s too much and too raw and too terrifying to allow it to fully wash over me. I can’t yet allow myself to be bathed in this sorrow. So I only allow myself to stick my baby toe into the icy waters of what we experienced in our journey to our girls over the past three years. As my toe hits those icy waters, shivers climb up my spine and it’s just too cold to allow myself to enter the waters any further. I expect the season to change and maybe in a new season the waters will become warmer allowing me to explore them with more of myself. But right now, it’s just too cold.
I choose, instead (because it’s so much easier) to focus on Sofia’s beautiful life. She has been redeemed. She is just one, but it’s not fair for her life to ever be referred to as “just” anything. She is so much more than “just one.” She is Sofia, our beloved daughter who has a place in this world now. No longer will she be overlooked, locked away, and deemed unworthy. We see the worth in her life. I see it in her eyes when I look all the way into her soul. I hear it in her raspy baby giggle as I tickle her legs. Most importantly I feel it in my heart. I was born for this. She was born for this. She has so much to offer this great big world. In time her gifts will be revealed and maybe one day those that deemed her unworthy will see what we see. Maybe they’ll see her the way God sees her-perfectly created. One thing is for certain, there was no mistake made when she was created. There was no mistake made when the Lord sent us 5,000 miles away to be rescued once again by our sweet daughter, Sofia.
Sofia, my beautiful daughter, I am so thankful you are laying next to me. I’m so thankful your little froggy toes are touching my leg. I’m thankful for each breath I hear you breathe. Gratitude for your life is what I will allow myself to feel right now. And as for all that you and I have just left behind…that’s for another day, another time. Tonight we’re celebrating! Right now I’m swimming in the warm waters of your life and enjoying the beauty of it all. You are so worthy, so loved, so adored my sweet girl! We’re so close to home I can taste it! You’re going to be so happy there, our lives are already enriched because of you! I hope one day you truly understand just how blessed I feel to be your mama in this earthly life!