Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Day I Can Not Ignore

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,


Hilary Marquis said...

Happy Birthday Angela!

We will continue to pray that very soon she will be home with her family. Cindy, what you wrote is beautiful and touching. Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt personal letter.

Congratulations on Shriners!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Dear Angela! Can't wait to meet you! Love, Miss Joan

Lindsay said...

Happy Birthday Angela

You, your sister and your family in America are always in my prayers that you will be able to go home soon.

Anonymous said...


A family in Virginia is praying for you both. You are remembered and surrounded by prayer. Our God is large enough to stretch from Colorado to Kazakhstan. May you feel Cindy's love through His love and presence with you, wherever you are.

Peggy in Virginia

Ohiomom2121 said...

Dear Cindy,
You write so eloquently what so many of us feel. This year we un-celebrated our Azerbaijani daughter's 7th birthday in an orphanage, and it's the second February 10th we've had to miss with her. Last year some missionaries sent us pictures and even a candle she blew out. This year, nothing, although we are grateful to know that she is still in a place where she is adoptable. As she ages the risk increases that she will be transferred to one that doesn't work with adoptions. All adoptions remained stalled, and it is SO hard to wait! We have dozens of pictures and stories about her, and she has been told about us, but she probably has given up on us by now. However, we have not given up, and each missed birthday is painful because she is already part of our family. Like you, we are busy with our (4) boys, but our arms ache for our girl. Ours is a "girlie girl," who likes polish and hair bows and tutus, but I don't know how I will fare being a former tomboy myself! Actually, we fear most that our initial "upper age limit" has been exceeded by 2 years, so I read blogs like yours to comfort myself that an 8 year old can still find her way into our family successfully. Thank you for the understanding and encouragement that your words bring. Sherry