A Mother’s Hero

14 May MMXVII
Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day weekend has been an especially emotional one. I have been hyper aware of the Heavenly Mother I share with my Lord as the 100th anniversary of her revealing her presence to three shepherd children in Portugal is celebrated throughout the world. I cannot contemplate God sharing His own Mother with me without surrendering to an intimate emotion within my awareness.

My first baby will finish high school next weekend and embrace college while my youngest is in my arms on this day devoted to mothers for the first time. And I am ever aware that, in addition to our mother in heaven, I have been blessed with an earthly mother, grandmothers and other precious women God has sent to “mother” me. I love them all.

But this year, I am most in awe of a mother I have never met though I feel like I know her deeply. Perhaps my life is more intertwined with hers than it is with any other mother’s this side of heaven. Because we share our hearts with the same daughter.

So as I contemplate and ponder this first Mother’s Day with Song-Felicity home, I achingly long to talk to the first Mama who mothered her. As I await that day, I have spent the afternoon writing her a letter in faith that she will some day receive it whether in this life or the next.

Dearest precious friend,

As I approach the one year anniversary of mothering our daughter face to face, I must share with you all of the things about her that I would want to know if time and distance separated me from her. Please rest in an awareness that she is loved deeply, cherished deeply and treasured deeply by each of us. Her health and mind and sweet spirit are thriving. You are right. She IS strong!

Our baby is a girly girl! Her favorite color is pink. She reminds us of this regularly. I tease her that she gets it from me but I suspect she may have also gotten it from you. I like thinking that we have things in common and that parts of me were already familiar to her from knowing you. She loves to get dressed and for me to brush her hair. Her favorite accessory is shoes! She would wear them to bed if we let her!

She is particularly fond of Mickey Mouse…not Minnie…she always reminds us she is a Mickey girl. She also likes Daniel Tiger and we watch them both most mornings after her siblings go to school. She sits in her tiny rocking chair in her mermaid tail blanket with a sippy cup of milk and munching a bowl of cereal. These mornings have been magical for me witnessing her grow comfortable as she has settled into the safety and security of our home.

She loves to eat. She has gained 6 pounds in the 11 months since she came home with us. She loves eggs and sausage for breakfast and her BaBa makes them for her regularly. She loves pizza and chicken and adores green vegetables, especially broccoli. She loves apples and grapes and granola bars. She still squeals with delight when we bring her a dragon fruit. She eats every single tiny seed. I suspect they remind her of China. They remind me of China and I love them too!

She gallops everywhere she goes and hums when she is happy. She sings in church with passion! She loves to dance and is excited to begin ballet lessons with her Aunt in the Autumn. She will also begin piano lessons this summer. A dear friend is giving them to her as a gift. I cannot wait to see what she thinks of music and I wonder if you are musical.

She loves China. She has now mastered English well enough to tell me she does. She loves pandas and her stuffed dragon and watching Mulan. She has recently told us that the ayis at the orphanage “gave her a bath and brushed her teeth” and “were nice” to her. This is so comforting to my heart and I know it is to yours! During the time we waited to get to her, I agonized over the uncertainties about her care. I know you have agonized too. We tell her that we love the ayis because they took such great care of her. We pray for them and thank God for the tender way they tended to our daughter.

She loves each of her 6 siblings and regularly tells them and us that we are “all hers”. She loves nothing more than all of us being home together. She tells me she is “Mama’s baby” and it melts my heart. I am very aware that she would not be so preciously attached to me now if she had not been so strongly attached to you first. Numerous experts have told me that my greatest gift is the way she was loved by, and connected to, you. You taught her what a mother is and how to be loved by one. Thank you. More than I can ever, ever say.

She looks deeply into my eyes each night before she goes to sleep and I wonder if I am looking into eyes that reflect yours. They are lovely and dark and deer like. She falls asleep on my chest most nights. She sucks her right thumb and strokes my neck with her left hand with her head tucked tightly between my head and my shoulder. I know she is asleep when her tiny fingers are finally still on my neck and I often hold onto her tiny sleeping self and think of you. I suspect she may have fallen asleep with you the same way. I can never resist running my fingers through her silky black hair and I always wonder if it feels like yours.

These days, when I see newborn Asian babies, I grieve some. I grieve because they reflect a season of our daughter’s life that I will never witness. But my thoughts quickly turn to you and I am aware that our daughter’s newborn season is yours for you to treasure and for you to hold on to and I am grateful for that. I pray it brings you comfort and I long for a day when we might meet and fill in the gaps we both have in our daughter’s life.

Today is recognized as Mother’s Day in America. There is no way I can celebrate this day, or any day involving our precious baby girl, without celebrating you. No two mothers could be tied together more tightly through motherhood than we have been tied together through the same daughter. Thank you for loving her first and for loving her well. I can say with complete confidence that no one recognizes the sacrificial way that you have loved her more than I do. Because I love the same daughter deeply. I know the rip that would remain in my own heart if she was no longer with me. I can glimpse the depths of anguish to which you went to love her. She will know this, too. I will remind her and re-remind her my whole life.

Please know always that when you let her go in faith, she landed in the arms of one who will love her perpetually for you and with you.

May all of the blessings of this, and every Mother’s Day, be yours.

Until our paths cross…

Your daughter’s other mother