You’re almost ten, dear daughter. In two days, we’ll celebrate another year of life. It seems like only yesterday when we were celebrating your coming into our family.
I remember holding you for the first time, in Ethiopia. I recall the feeling like it was yesterday, your tiny body folded into my arms. I couldn’t imagine what I ever did without you.
At the same time that I held you, I was also holding your birth mother in my heart. I wondered where she was, who she was, how she was. Although, I couldn’t answer the questions swirling around in my mind, I promised to never let her go. Your mother of origin—she would always be a part of us.
And, she is. I see her every time that I look at you. Into your big, brown eyes that shine with curiosity and delight. I see her every time I glimpse at your tender face, while you sleep. I see her visiting you in your dreams and I’m so grateful that she’s near. Ever close.
I do not raise you without her, dearest daughter. I envision the two of us—your two mothers—hand in hand along this journey. I celebrate this tenth birthday with her as I celebrate it with you. Your mothers love you. I hope you feel that. I hope, from the deepest place within my heart, that you understand the power of our love. A love that, in very moment of every day, is working on your behalf. Raising you up. Guiding you as you grow.
On the last few days of your ninth year, I’d like to remind you of a few key truths. I want to breathe into your spirit words that were not said to me as a child-of-adoption. These are words that I’ve learned to breathe into myself along my own journey of coming home to what is real and true for me.
When you look in the mirror, be proud of the girl you see. Recognize the beauty and strength you possess: a beauty and strength passed down within the biology of those who came before you. Be proud of that history. Never hide from your story. Embrace all that you are.
Use words of life when speaking to yourself. Please choose your words wisely. Love yourself with your words. Don’t allow limiting beliefs—or the limiting words of others—to take root. Speak words of truth into your heart and soul. You’re a miracle in this world. Walk in the light of your miracle. No one can take that from you.
Recognize your value. There is no need to hustle and push to prove your worth. Your value was imprinted in the stars on the day when you were born. You are needed in this world. The value you bring, just by being you, is a wealth beyond measure.
Appreciate your journey. Live with a heart that appreciates every moment of your life. Even the harder moments. Trust that every moment, every experience, every second is leading you—pulling you—toward the realization of your purpose and of your calling.
Go to gratitude. Let gratitude be the grounding force for your life. Let it always guide you through whatever life presents. Gratitude will empower you. Gratitude will enlighten you. It will make sense of what happened in the past. It will give you peace for today. It will create the vision for the possibility of tomorrow.
Choose peace. It really is a choice. Letting go of blame and accusation. Forgiving. Freeing yourself through forgiveness. Always choose peace. The opposite is distress. You were made for harmony. You are all that is harmonious and good and right in this world.
Believe. Believe that God has a plan for you. And, that He is working that plan in ways you cannot even see, right now, as you turn the page from nine-years old to ten. Believe in the power of His plan. What it took to bring you into this world, I cannot fully know. But, I know that God is so very good. He’s always working it out. Give it all to the one who knows you better than anyone or anything. Don’t stop believing.
Know that your Ethiopian mother and I are walking together, delighting in the gift of watching you grow. I know that the spirit is mightier than this physical body. I know that the Heavens are mightier than this physical world. I trust in that. I trust that we are all together.
Our lives have intersected.
The weaving is powerful and eternal.
My gratitude overflows.
Happy Birthday, dearest daughter.
I love you.