I have often said that this blog is a love letter to my family...and I am happy that there are those of you who read it and can glean something from it that is helpful, but that is simply a happy and unexpected byproduct of the process. Today, I am writing a post that is for someone else, not for all of you. I doubt you will get anything out of it, but that's OK. So you can simply close the blog window if you'd like, or you can be a voyeur into the world of a yearning mom.
My Dearest Angela,
Today is your birthday, and more than anything I want you to know that you are not forgotten. I woke up this morning thinking about you, and you have not left my mind all day. This year, it is ever more present in my mind because our long distance relationship has grown, and the memory of holding you in my arms for the first time this year still lingers.
I have watched you grow during the past three years through photographs, and you have changed from an adorable little imp to a beautiful and vivacious little lady...you have yet to loose the sparkle and vibrancy that first drew me to you, your "imprisonment" has yet to destroy your spirit. Maybe that is a harsh word to us when describing your life in an orphanage, but I have no doubt that you would agree even if others don't fully understand.
How I wish this birthday was different for you! As I look at the photos of Kenny's first birthday at home and I recall his joy at being special for a day, I want that for you as well. I held hope that maybe it WOULD be different this year, but it seems that patience is something we both need to have right now and maybe...just maybe...next year will find you in different circumstances.
I was going to do for you what we did for Kenny last year when his birthday passed and he was not yet home...we had a cake for him and sang "Happy Birthday" even though he wasn't yet here, as it helped us mark the special ocassion. But for some reason, I just can't bring myself to do it, to let go of that much of my heart for fear of being bitterly disappointed should you be unable to come home some day.
But sweetheart, in some ways it is already too late and I am simply fooling myself. The other day I caught myself as I spoke about you and your sister to someone, and I referred to you as my daughters. For you see, the barriers I have placed around my heart to protect it aren't strong enough to hold back the onslaught of love. I can not deny that in every possible way, you and your sister are my children, my beloved daughters. And today especially, it really, really hurts not to hold you, to sing to you, to spend my morning making a perfect chocolate cake with sprinkles on it and the Roehrman tradition of "magic" toothpicks in it to hold the layers together and to wish upon once we find them in our slice. Tonight I can't tuck you in bed and whisper "Happy Birthday, my Big Girl" in your ear.
I am comforted knowing that at least you and your sister are finally together and not living a very lonely existence separated by the long miles between orphanages. I also know that both of you feel cared for by us, as evidenced by your sister running up to our friend yesterday and telling him to please "Tell MY Cindy I love her!".
Whether you one day live within the fold of your family, or if God has other plans for all of our lives, never forget that we ARE your forever family. We carry you in our hearts every single day, all of us. You are both spoken of with great affection around here, just as if you were spending the night at a friends house rather than never having yet spent a night here in our home. We are yours and you are ours, forever.
There is something very special between you and I, a quiet confidence that we both seem to have that we are mother and daughter. We are very much alike, you and I, and I laugh at the descriptions of your sports skills, knowing that I would be gaining the daughter I dreamed of...not a "girlie girl" but a tomboy through and through. I am very proud of your accomplishments, of hearing about your successes.
I am most proud of your ability to have faith and hope in the future, in an environment that saps all the hope out of most kids.
So on this special day, turn to your sister and have her give you a bear hug, and hear my voice inside your head singing to you, see in your minds eye your brothers giggling and goofing around a table full of cake, presents and the warmth of love we all feel for you.
Happy 10th Birthday, my daughter. May every year bring you more joy and happiness, may this next year bring you your hearts desire.
Love Always and Forever,