My heart is aching.
The woman in this photo (and many others) we have of Lauren is her foster mother. Lauren has been with her sweet foster family for about 2 years. They are all she has known for the better part of her life. I have been told how they adore her. And you can see it in each and every photo and report we have seen she has grown, not only grown but flourished in their care. I know her sweet and joyful demeanor come from them and the care she gets. I know they have doted on her. I know they also have taught her that she can do anything she sets her mind to.
She has learned to trust. She has learned how to give and receive love. She has been taught that she is perfect. She has gained confidence and ability. She has learned to care for herself, and to help others. She can run. She can cut with scissors. She can draw. She can feed and dress herself. She loves others in her community and stands up for those who are the "underdog". I love everything I have read about this little one. Everything.
And for that I am so very thankful to the gift she has been given with her Grandma and Grandpa.
I have to be honest and say I have been struggling. I know that her family knows she is being adopted. I also know that they are really sad. My heart is breaking for them. When I think of this amazingly wonderful and loving home she has been blessed with, I am heartbroken. For all that they will be losing. For all that she will be leaving behind. I cannot imagine the fear, the confusion that will come. I am not afraid of that. I am prepared for the emotions that will come. But I am heartbroken for Grandma and Grandpa.
I feel so strongly about this. It consumes my prayers lately. I know God hears the cries of my heart. The cries that also asked Michael if we are doing the wrong thing. If we should use our finances to make it possible for her foster family to keep her. I know how much she brings to their lives. Michael agreed that we owe a debt unpayable to her family, but that he was sure that God had lead us to Lauren and Lauren to us.
How do you adequately thank a woman who has been your child's momma? How can you even remotely convey how thankful you are for them? That they will FOREVER be a part of our family? That we will never forget, nor never let Lauren forget her years with them?
My prayer most fervently is that we can remain in contact with them. I have heard stories of foster families sneaking notes inside clothing. I secretly yearn for that. I pray also that we have the opportunity to meet them while in China. I have studied the photos until I know the lines on her face. The crinkles around her eyes as she smiles at her Yan Yan, I know the look of amusement on her face and imagine her laughter. I can imagine the emptiness in the house after Lauren leaves. My heart aches.
I know that Lauren is meant to be in the Markmiller family. I also know that she is blessed to have 2 amazing women whom she can forever call Momma. Her amazing birth mom,whom I believe loves her with all that she is, who carried her and lovingly took her to a safe spot where she would be found…her foster momma, who cared for her with love and tenderness, and now God has given me the privilege to be called her Momma as well.
So, for now, I will allow my heart to grieve. I don't know if or when that ache will heal. But I know I will forever be thankful for it. And forever thankful to our Grandma and Grandpa in China.