Friday, February 6, 2009

And then I remember

Today was our youngest daughter's 5th birthday. It was a day filled with presents and cards, birthday cake and friends, a party and pictures. It was a day of celebration for reaching a big milestone with lots of laughter and smiles.

And then I remember that half-way across the world, there's another family. Another family that marks this as a special day as well. They were remembering the birth of a little girl with dark hair and big eyes. Five years ago today their daughter was born.

4 months and 4 days later, they gave their tiny daughter into the care of others. In China, the number 4 is the unluckiest of numbers. The pronunciation is too close to the word for death. On that day, they experienced the death of their hopes and dreams, but they did the best they could for their daughter. They gave her a note and they gave her a chance. They gave her to us.

In the place of laughter and parties, there were quiet moments and quiet tears today. Another mother is wondering where her little daughter is. Is she safe? Is she happy? Is she warm and loved? How tall is she? What does she look like now? What does her laughter sound like? Does she remember her?

I wish there was a way to tell her that her daughter is growing into a beautiful little girl. She is smart and happy and doesn't want for anything. She has many friends and a family that loves her. She seems to have grown another inch taller every time I turn around and our home rings with the sound of her laughter from morning until night.

Five years ago, a tiny baby girl was born and was given a name, a name that we do not know. It's a name that is now whispered only in the hearts of her birth family. One day I hope our daughter has the chance to find and meet them. I hope that on that day her birth mother will speak the name she was first given and then, she will remember.

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