"I just want to see my sister, to know what she looks like now."
Juan David's first response after we got out the cake to celebrate both his brother's and his sister's birthdays. He misses her. To be honest, I still miss her, too.
I remember the day Julian sent me that precious picture of them together. After eight months of silence, eight months to process the fact that I'd never know anything more about them, I made a single plea to God. "Please let me hear from Juan David again somehow, someday." Then out of the blue, Julian says, "My brother wrote you a letter this weekend." He took a picture of it and promised to send it via e-mail. I pestered and pestered him until he sent the picture of the letter. I didn't expect the other pictures he sent with it. Pictures of all three of them, continuing life. The life I had once assumed was supposed to be with me as their Mama.
Though thrilled to see the pictures, I struggled to grasp why God had thrust them back into my life. I wondered if our relationship with Julian might open a door to another chance at her adoption. I put the pictures in frames up on the wall of the "empty" bedroom. They represented hope. Hope that the story wasn't over yet. She and I kept in touch with sweet messages via her brother for several more months. Until they matched her with a new Mama. So happy for her. So heartbreaking for us. For Julian. For Juan David. She skipped right on out of all of our lives, and I grieved her loss again. Four months later, we finally made it to Colombia to begin a two year journey that would unexpectedly give Juan David back to us.
I didn't realize that I'd begun to decorate that room for him by putting those pictures up on the wall. I never imagined that one day, almost four years later, we'd be sitting at the table with him, eating a cake with one of those pictures scanned onto it, celebrating his siblings' birthdays. I never could have fathomed the cute conversations that would later surround that picture. "I want to eat Julian's face." (David). "I want to eat the face of my sister." (Juan David).
It took us almost a week to finish the cake. Those two faces stared back at us every night at dessert time, until we finally cut through the picture to finish off the cake. I dreamed about her that night. I wonder where she is, how she's doing, and, like Juan David's comment, what she might look like today. Though I have total peace about her, I miss her. Having her brother here, knowing how much he misses her, makes me miss her even more.
- I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother. Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing. Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.