As usual it is late at night, and you are sleeping soundly across the room from me, in your co-sleeper. Daddy is sleeping as well, and here I am, tapping away at the computer.
I've always been a night owl, and some habits are just hard to break. I do my best thinking at night, and my best praying too.
Tonight I'm praying...as always... for Olga and Kareen. I'm praying their families claim them soon, and hoping things move quickly, so that they can be rescued before they are transferred to the institution. I'm praying for God's protection on their little lives. Two little girls, half a world away, who we've never even met...and yet our hearts are so burdened for them.
I had a dream last night about Olga. And I really don't think it was anything spiritual... I think it just comes from having her on my mind so much. In my dream she was a teenager..she had beautiful almond eyes, just like yours, and she was wearing a jacket and a beret- the kind your sister Mackenzie wears. She was smiling, and safe, and I was so relieved in my dream, just seeing her that way.
When I woke up, I reached over and pulled you close to me, and kissed your cheek and thanked God that you are safe and happy and here and mine.
I was thinking a lot today about grief. About the emotions that I felt after having you, knowing that your life was going to be very different than what I had imagined.
I read this quote tonight, from C.S. Lewis, in his book A Grief Observed.
"Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief."
I have had several letters from mamas recently, who are still wading through those emotions, and trying to find their way to "the other side of grief".
And really, Lily- we're not so very far on this side ourselves. There is still so much I have to learn about what this "syndrome" means. But I do feel such an absence of those weighty and difficult emotions that were there just a few short months ago. And I really think so much of that has to do with Olga and Kareen. Because it was just when I was becoming aware of the plight of orphans with Down syndrome in other countries, that I think I turned a corner in my journey to the other side..
I can't explain what happened- because it isn't anything I did. It wasn't a conscious decision I made, no carefully planned mental gymnastics to bring myself to a place of peace. It just..happened.
And I am quite sure (as I told one of these sweet and honest mamas just the other day) that there are Ds buses, as I have called them, waiting around some corners for me in the future.
I read on one mommy's blog today, how sad she was that her beautiful boy (who shares your designer genes) was having a hard time articulating what was in his head. He tried and tried, but the words just weren't there for him, and his mama cried at his frustration and cried at her inability to understand him.
So I'm sure those days are waiting for us too, Lily.
But we'll get through.
Just like that mama and her boy are. Because as she tucked him into bed last night, stroking his cheek and choking back tears, she told him how very much she loved him, and she talked to him about how they were going to keep trying, together.
And I thought, as I read those mama's words today, that in so many ways my letters to you are just like that mama, talking to her son...we'll get through this together, Lily.
And I know we might share some pain-filled moments like those in the future.
But painful moments and hurts and disappointments in life are not unique to Down syndrome, are they Lily? There are tears and heartaches around the corners of life for any of my children... just as there are joys and laughter, and moments of happiness so full, we can't contain it.
So as I end this letter to you, my beautiful Lily, I just want you to know how very much I love you....and how very thankful I am to be here on the other side with you.
Because it just gets better from here.