At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. -- Lao Tzu

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Testimony to the Human Spirit

Tonight I sat in my bed and watched my daughter, with us only 3 months, play in her bed quietly, winding down for sleep. This is our nightly routine. I gave her the picture I saw of her at 15 months old, the one that fueled the fire to find this child a home. She played with it for a long time. I don't know if she knows it's her or not. It's hard to say what is going on in her head.

I think about the joy with which she meets the day. Every morning when she wakes, she chirps "Hi!" and is ready to go. Our mornings are quiet. She sits next to me on the couch with a bowl of dry cereal and a sippee of soy milk. I drink my coffee and check my e-mail and she watches Baby First TV. We are quiet together but we are together. My daughter and I.

It's no small thing that she is here with me. I marvel at it often. That it happened is enough to give me back the faith I thought was gone. And she amazes me. Not only by what she does but the spirit with which she does it. How can a person be stripped of her dignity, her birthright, and all but her most basic needs and still survive? Not only survive but thrive? My daughter is an amazing person and has an inner strength and spirit I am in awe of. I am lucky to be witness to her life unfolding and as she learns new things I am seeing life in new ways too.

My daughter is beautiful and smart and is perfect just as she is. I love her smile and her goofiness. I love the odd things she does and the way that is just IS. And yet, behind the smiles and the laughter is the haunting image of a couple who will never know her and never know what became of her. I can never forget that my happiness has come at an incredible price to other human beings. And I can never forget that deep inside my daughter's soul is a grief so profound, so primal, that it will shape her life and the life of her children as well.

All is good here, our little family is doing well and I'm eager for you all to get to know her as we do. People have told me that she is a lucky girl because we adopted her. I say we are lucky because she has brought so much to our lives that was missing before. But for me, on a personal level, having her here is a daily reminder that life is special and each day is a gift.

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