To my beautiful Ethiopian babies,
I have looked at your picture everyday for over ten months now. I've prayed for you countless times each day. You show up in my dreams, a bittersweet fantasy that leaves me so disappointed in the morning when I wake to find that you're still 10,000 miles away from me. It breaks my heart so much that I wish I wouldn't dream of you only to loose you each time I wake up.
My son, I was so sure that you'd be home shortly after Christmas last year that I bought and wrapped Christmas presents for you. The matching pajamas that I bought for you and Lucas will be too small by the time you get here. In the boys' room we just got a desk for you so that you will have a place that is all your own where Lucas isn't allowed to play. There is all kinds of Arsenal paraphenalia along with some school supplies on your desk. It's so empty, so neat and tidy. Not at all what the desk of a nine-year-old boy ought to look like. There are no little boy treasures hidden there. There should be. I wish you were here to make a mess of it, to play with the brand-new soccer ball that your grandparents bought you for Christmas last year, to make me laugh...I just wish you were here...
And my daughter, you are so beautiful. Your precious face is in my mind all the time. You and your sister have such a pretty, pink room with a bunk bed and matching Disney princess comforters. Kaitlyn's bunk is covered with dolls and stuffed animals and little treasures. And it's rarely made neatly. Your little bunk though has its blankets all tucked in very tightly with the brandnew chocolatey brown baby doll dressed in her Christmas outfit from last year sitting there begging for some little girl to play with her and love on her. I have forbidden Kaitlyn to play with it, as I want it to be brand-new for you. I've thought about messing up your blankets so that I won't feel sad everytime I tuck Kaitlyn into bed and see your pristine bed without a little girl to sleep in it. Sometimes Kaitlyn sleeps in your bed, as she feels like doing so is somehow showing you love from a distance, but she never sleeps under the blankets. We're waiting for you to come...
The last ten months have been so difficcult for me to figure out how to navigate motherhood. What is a mother to do when her heart is completely in love with her children, but time and space don't allow for the love to be expressed? The mother lion inside of me wants to tear to shreds anybody who is standing in the way of me getting to you. I want to demand answers, justice. You are mine and I want you with a fierceness that I've never experienced before. Yet the only answers I get all seem like flimsy excuses in light of the fact that I've watched you grow a whole year older through pictures. I should have made you a birthday cake. I hope that I will make you both birthday cakes in 2007.
Well meaning people tell me that as soon as you get here, I'll forget all about the pain. What good does that do to a mother's broken heart though when the only thing that will ease the pain is to have her children in her arms? I already know that the pain has all been worth it. Even now as I'm trying to traverse this strange, new place as a mother, my heart knows that this is worth it. You see, even if you never come home to me, I can say that it's worth it. You've already changed my life forever. Because I have loved you and been loved by you, even though it's been across a void of 10,000 miles, my heart has been forever impacted, made alive in a way I've never dreamed possible. With each of my children that have come into my life, I have been forever changed. Each time, the change is different. And the change starts taking place long before the babies have actually been in my arms, though in that moment of first contact, the change is forever burned deeper than ever before in my heart. There just aren't words that adequately express the longing of a mother for her children. I yearn for you. I love you with an anguishing love. I love you because you are mine. The paperwork hasn't yet figured this out, but you are mine. At the risk of sounding blasphemous, I tell you that I have loved you with an everlasting love. Hang tight and don't lose hope my babies. Someday soon, I will be coming for you. I will love you with my arms at last, not just with my heart.