She turned thirteen in May.
The first baby we adopted, brought home and fell in love with only to have to give her back days later will forever be the baby who made me a mother.
I might not have gotten to raise her, teach her, and hear her call me Mom, but I have loved her and thought about her every single day since we walked out of that adoption agency with an empty car seat and,
hearts that were forever changed.
I often wonder what she likes to do for fun. Does she have good friends? What does her laugh sound like? Does she like to bake? Does she play sports or any instruments? Has she had her first crush or maybe even a broken heart? There are things I wonder about and things I dream about for her. But until these last two weeks the thing I haven’t wondered is,
Does she experience racism?
She’s now thirteen and is old enough to not only know what is happening in our country and in cities all across the world but she is old enough to have experienced some of the same hate and judgement that so many others experience today.
Our first beautiful and perfect little girl is black.
I can’t help but wonder what my home would look like today. I wonder what kind of conversations we would have had with her as a young girl the first time someone pointed out the color of her skin. I wonder what the nights would have been like after she’d come home from school feeling left out or alone because she was one of the only or possibly the only black girl in her class. I wonder how I’d answer the questions of her heart and how I’d bring her comfort when all I’d want to do was tuck her within my arms and shelter her from anyone who could do her harm.
I wonder what I would tell her today as we hear story after story of beautiful lives that are taken too soon and unjustly. I wonder if I’d be able to hide my tears, the anger and the fear I feel for the world that she is growing up in.
And I wonder if I’d have the right words to bring her comfort.
I could list page after page of questions and dreams I have for the baby I don’t get to raise. I could list all the reasons she is beautiful and perfect exactly how she is, and I could list all the reasons she deserves every single privilege our other four children have and will have.
“Wherever you are sweet girl, I pray you know deep inside your heart that there are two people who just so happen to be a white mama and a brown dad who love you more than you will ever know. Who saw your beauty the day you were placed in their arms and who still see your dark eyes when they close their own at night.
I pray that you know your worth and your beauty and that the Lord created you just as you are.
I pray that you will walk the streets, go to school, fall in love, and live out all the dreams in your heart in a world that has more love and acceptance than the one we are living in today.
And I pray that you will see the change that this country so desperately needs and that your babies one day will grow up in a time where they will read about the rallies and protests that are happening and know that their world is so much brighter.”
While I don’t have the words or the answers that will wake our country up or make the change happen that needs to be made, I do have the cries of my heart for the four children in my home, my nieces and nephews, and that little girl whom I held in my arms for those three days and have held in my heart for the last thirteen years.