A couple of days ago as Serenity, Edward and I headed into the matinee showing of Disney’s ‘Frozen’, I noticed my cell phone had a new message. I pulled the phone out of my purse and my eyes rested on a picture of a young girl I didn’t recognize. The caption, from a dear friend at DCFS, “Guess who?” As I realized who this precious face belonged to, took a deep breath, and gathered my faculties, my heart began to race. This wasn’t just any little girl; it was my little girl, or at least a little girl that I thought would be mine. It was Baby B…five years later. (See my previous post!) The last time I saw her precious face, she was buckled in the backseat of a caseworkers’ car and whisked away from the life she’d known snuggled deep in my arms, to the uncertainty of a new life with a family member she barely knew.
And now, five years later, her photo simply popped up on my phone on a random Friday afternoon. As I stared at the picture and looked into her eyes, I realized that I didn’t know her; that I wouldn’t have recognized her if I’d run into her on the street, that she has her life and I have mine and they have nothing to do with each other. I realized that the life I thought she would have wasn’t to be. And at that moment the fact that I didn’t get the opportunity to be her mother wasn’t nearly as important as the fact that she looked happy, contented and well cared for. It was an emotional place I never thought I would ‘get to’ after she left. That place, that deep loss, that grieving hole in my heart is just a distant memory. The hole was filled in by time, by space, by necessity and by a baby boy who was the silver lining inside that tumultuous black cloud.
I couldn’t help but smile as I looked into ‘my’ girls’ face. I put the new image side by side the one that still hangs on my refrigerator; a picture of an 18 month old smiling with hands raised; one placed there 5 years ago with a little caption taped on it that reads “pray boldly”. How beautiful to have been part of B’s story; to have mothered her if only for a time; to know that she is thriving and to hope that the foundation of love, nurture and attachment that was poured into her tiny heart during those days, cemented a firm foundation for which her entire life will be built. Despite the profound heartache and grief, depression and despair, questions without answers and breathtaking loss, I would do it all again just to have the opportunity to mother this precious little girl!