Today was Keira's 8-month Birthday. Isn't she something? Her eyes are these massive dark soulful little numbers that mesmerize me. She's lived a life most people only hear about...or dread...or fear. Abandoned. Left behind. Twice over.
But look at her! So resilient, so wonderful and beautiful and full of life and hope. I know she has hope, because each day she gets up and she smiles for me.
When we were in China I would sing her to sleep each night, or try to anyway. I would sing...
Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
when there are clouds in the sky
you'll get by
If you smile through your pain and sorrow
Smile...and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you...
on and on and on...over and over...trying to comfort her. Trying to give her hope for tomorrow. Hoping that she could feel her tomorrows in my arms...knowing that she was having a hard time feeling the next ten minutes in my presence alone.
But actually, all this talk of adjusting...of pain...of heartache is only partially about sweet Keira. Though her pain was sharp and apparent from the first moment we saw her. She has been fighting towards joy since the time we met. Though truthfully, not as apparent to me as it is now that we are home and settling.
Keira's loss will be felt for years to come - there is no doubt in my mind. But at this tender age, her ability to recall all of the days leading up to this are surely limited. She knows the moment. Warmth, hunger, physical comfort...and interaction. Sweet interaction. And for this moment, (and many more to come) her needs are being met, and she is more and more at home in our arms every day. Smiling, laughing, coo-ing and snuggling. Putting aside, for a little while anyway, her deep loss - if not for any other reason than her young age.
Instead, most of what I'm referencing here is about the pain, loss, heartache...and hope...of her new mother.
All of this preparing to write out what transpired - it's my heart that I wish to open up.
I hope to be able to express, from a very truthful and deep place, how very raw our trip left both of us feeling. I hope to be able to reach others.
To shed truth and light for my part.
Again, not the story of a trip - but the journey of a heart.
Keira is doing wonderfully day by day...
I'm anxious to share my thoughts with each of you - and I feel like the words are beginning to come to me.
It will be bittersweet to finally share them. Bitter because they are hard to re-live. Sweet because joy comes in the morning...and she really is a Joy.