Below are pictures from a scrapbook layout I did several years ago for my S. I was thinking about this today on her 14th birthday and wanted to share the thoughts I expressed many years ago.
Journaling from February 4, 2003:
Dear Princess S,
Words cannot express the feelings you invoked in me just now. You and I were lying in my bed taking a “nap” (ha!) I always take my naps alone, but there was only a short amount of time, and you asked to join me. I knew you only wanted to cuddle, and I’m glad you asked me today. It seems only a few weeks ago that you came into our lives with your brother and sister and turned our world upside down. You came officially to live with us on April 6th, 2000. I will never forget because it was two days before your 2nd birthday. God was so good in allowing us time with you alone before M and B moved in. You were such a clingy child, so desperately alone and unhappy. I was so scared that you would never be secure and attached, but God in His goodness has healed the wounds of your first two years of life. I will never understand how anyone could have given you up. Despite being premature (3 lbs., 3 oz) you have more than made up for lost time. At age two you were barely speaking at all, but now there are days at almost five when I wish you had never discovered spoken language! You are such a chatterbox, and I’m just grateful you have M to listen to you!
You have a way of looking and speaking when you say, “Mom, I love you,” that just touches my heart so deeply. It’s almost as if you have a secret deep inside that makes those words so incredibly heartfelt. I don’t know how we will explain this adoption to you, but I just pray you will always know how incredibly blessed I am to be your Mom. I can’t imagine life without your beautiful brown eyes and radiant smile or your diehard stuborness and flirtatious nature. I feel like I can never give you enough time or love, but I have to trust God to take all our moments, both good and bad, and turn them into precious memories. I pray that you will always want to be my daughter, even when the teenage years come and you begin looking for answers for your life. I will always be here, loving you more and more every day as God continues to work this miracle in our lives. You will always be my little princess!
Today: these words written nine years ago mean so much more now. We had no idea at that time that our struggles with attachment were only beginning. Years of two steps forward, one step back. Drastic measures and backward parenting. Falling on my face before God, helpless and hopeless without His great redeeming love. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the battle we have fought together, S and I. I have witnessed true healing in the midst of chaos and heartbreak and unspeakable pain. We have endured and my daughter has tested and found complete the love I have for her. Thank you, God, for this precious gift of my daughter. She is worth it all.