I am (we are) overjoyed that we have an official referral… a little girl waiting for us in Africa. But I wasn’t prepared for the other emotions that would come with that news. Mainly, a constant companion of sadness I just can’t shake. In the quiet calm of the evenings, I tuck my two oldest in and listen to the sweet sound of them singing and I push back tears because someone else is tucking my youngest in (“please, Lord, let there be someone tucking her in”). I watch Tucker and Libby running circles around the living room and wonder if we will miss her first steps. We celebrate Tucker’s birthday and I dread the day her 1st birthday will come and go without her here to sing to. I fix them their favorite sandwiches and wonder if someone knows what her favorite foods are. The days, the weeks have passed and I think about the moments we haven’t had with her, the milestones we are missing, fearing that each day is another day she grows farther apart from us, another day that her transition to trust and love us becomes harder. Our daughter is living a continent away under other people’s care. Just two months ago, I thought we had several years to go and that seemed so long. Now, “6-8” months feels unbearable.
But I have a gift. A gift I don’t take for granted because some mothers don’t have it.
The gift of hope … hope for a future with her and so I cling to it.
Hope for nights when she is included in the bedtime story, when I get to rock her, and hold her, and tuck her in. Hope for birthdays with candles and singing, hope for three kids chasing each other around the house, and the laughter of all of them filling our home. I have hope for getting to add her picture to the wall of photos of our kids and the first time I struggle to fix her hair. I have hope for one more little person pulling at my legs and testing my patience while I try to cook dinner, another set of fingerprint smudges on the walls, and for five chairs to be occupied at our table.
I have hope for an extra coat hanging by our door and another pair of shoes on the shoe rack.
And we named her Aida (we’re pronouncing it A-duh) which means “princess” in her native country.
We named her Aida because it also means gift.
We just recently updated our prayer requests page and our fundraising pages. We hope you will read them and continue with us in praying Aida home.