Kayli's eyes

Kayli's eyes

Monday, June 2, 2014

Gotcha Day's Three Year Anniversary: "A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words" but Doesn't Capture Everything

Our daughter is BEAUTIFUL.  Inside and out.  She is joyful and happy; despite everything.  Despite being abandoned, despite living two years in an institution, despite having a cleft lip/palate and being nutritionally staved the first 18 months of her life, despite having water blocked behind her ear drums and having 40% of her hearing deprived from her (virtually the equivalent of hearing the world around you as if you're under water) for the first three years, despite having severe ADHD as well as OCD and learning a new language, new boundaries, new relationships, having a severe speech delay and a developmental delay.  Despite it all, she exudes pure joy!

We have taken hundreds of pictures of her.  Pictures documenting all the amazing moments and sweet memories with her.  Pictures that depict her beauty, milestones, and accomplishments; her laughter and humor. But pictures do not capture the internal emotional struggles within her.  Her deep seeded insecurities and desperate emotional needs.  No pictures to show the tears, the frustration; her unbelievable struggle to know how to be social with other girls and play with them.  It doesn't show her confusion in communicating because of her lack of comprehension and ability to express herself even after three years.  It doesn't show the relational gap she and I have struggled to bridge all this time or striving to create a bond that is more exhausting work than it is just naturally happening .  

These three years have been a lot of work for her and incredibly challenging and hard for me as well.  I have struggled to connect with Kayli; to fully understand and get her.  So many things she chooses to do and so much of her personality I just don't understand or click with.  Our huge communication gap for the past three years has been taxing on us moving forward in our relationship together.  I ache to know my daughter and what she's feeling and thinking and the 'whys' behind some of the decisions and choices she makes.  I long for her to be able to express what she feels with vocabulary words instead of answering my question of, "what made you decide to do that?" with "I don't know" over and over for TWO YEARS because she just doesn't know how to form her thoughts into sentences.  

Most days are really really hard for me to connect with her.  I have to consciously CHOOSE to love her; it doesn't come naturally yet.  I struggle.  Every day I beg God to deepen my relationship with my daughter and give me the love I need for her.  To see her as He sees her and not see all the work and frustration she is most days.  Through this journey with Kayli, God has revealed HIS abundant unconditional love for His adopted children and how greatly I am incapable, in my flesh, to produce that no matter how hard I try or how desperately I know someone needs it from me.  Apart from God pouring in me and flowing out of me, I can do NOTHING!  I am learning to tap into Him everyday and allow Him to fuel me every moment.  But I'll be honest, most days, I completely fall down flat.

So today, the Lord inspired me to write a letter. To write a letter addressed to me as if it were coming from Kayli's biological mother herself.  So today, I took pen to the paper and I wrote a letter as if it were from the heart of Kayli's Chinese birth mom.

     'To my daughter's Mom and Dad,

   With a very reluctant heart, I am  leaving my daughter out of concern for her life and well being.  She was born with an abnormal mouth and because of it, she cannot get my milk.  I cannot give her the nutrition she needs to grow and thrive and I cannot afford to get the medical help she needs.  I have kept her as long as I possibly could because I love her so much.  No matter what those around me say, to me, she is beautiful.  I love looking at her big black eyes and seeing me in them.  I will miss her tiny hands and feet; her fingers grasping mine.  I will miss her eyes that smile so brightly at me.  This is the hardest thing I have ever done!  I will never hear her say "mama."  I will never witness her first steps, first birthday or first day of school.  I won't be there for her when the world is cruel to her, or care for her when she is sick or to give her guidance and instruction.  I will not get to watch her personality blossom.  I will miss all her birthdays and talents.  I will not see her graduate, help her shop for her first job, or plan her wedding with her.  I will never know the man she marries.  I won't be there on her wedding day as she walks down the aisle or when she gives birth to her children.  I will never know my grandchildren.  You will have this privilege.  You will be her "mama" and "daddy."  You will know her in ways I never will.  You will know her hopes and dreams and what she will aspire to be.  And I will miss it.  
As I sit here with tears streaming down, I implore you to please care for her as if she were your own.  Snuggle with her, kiss her boo-boos, read to her, admire her, encourage her, praise her, tell her she's beautiful, fuel and compliment her strengths and gently help her with her weaknesses.  Teach her and instruct her, giggle and play with her.  Protect and support her physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.  She will feel abandoned and alone.  She will feel different.  Please reassure her of your love for her; she will need to hear it and be shown it a lot.  Because of her insecurities she will not know how to fill that void and will try her hardest to constantly be loved and feel accepted and to get attention.  Please help her be aware and mindful of that but love her through it too.  My daughter will be a challenge.  She will struggle with both her father's and mother's sins as well as the consequences of giving her up and because of that you will struggle to relate to her.  Being abandoned by me will also cause trauma that she may always struggle with as a result.  She will need your help.  It crushes me and I ache to my bones to think about the impact abandoning her will do to her.  It's more than I can bear.  But I know you can help her through that and I'd rather her struggle through that and live life than watch her helplessly deteriorate and die so young and tiny and frail. - She needs you.  She needs your tender care and love.  I weep abundantly knowing I can no longer care for her.  For nine months I felt her grow and move inside me.  I dreamt of holding her, raising her and being her mom.  I pictured my future with her as I anticipated her arrival!  In all my dreams I never imagined I would be experiencing this heartache and decision.  I feel crushed under the weight of sorrow and grief.  And now, holding her in my arms the past two and half months and trying to provide what she needs, I can't seem to make myself to put her down in this quiet still of the night. - I want this moment in time with her to stop and be able to hold her close to me always.  I want to breathe in her smell and cover her in kisses.  I want to hold onto this moment forever.  But I cannot give her what she needs.  I must give her away.  Give away the right to care for her, the right to know her as she grows, the right to name her.  I must give her away.  I must give her to you and entrust all my hopes, desires, and dreams for her to you.  Please tell her I loved her and if I could have cared for her needs I would have.  I would have kept her in a heartbeat.  Tell her I will miss her, think of her, and love her everyday of my life.  Let her know this was the hardest thing I've ever done or will ever do.  Hug her every morning and kiss her every night.  And let her know when she looks in the mirror so much of who she sees is me and her dad.  But if she ever still questions her place and belonging in life, point her to Jesus.  Our heavenly Father is the only one that can ever fully fill us.  Gently tell her that every human being feels like they don't belong because God as told us this world is not our home and because of that, she is not so different from every other person.  Our heavenly eternal home is waiting for us and her Creator desires to meet ALL her needs.  So please, point her to Jesus, hold her for me, cover her in kisses; kisses that I can no longer give her.  For she is precious indeed!'

No comments:

Post a Comment