They chose roses. Three girls, from three different people groups with their babies crawling over and under and through the mess, sat in the middle of a bedroom floor with construction paper and glue, scissors and food coloring working together to create a gift. White roses transformed into the color of a cloudy summer sky as they steeped in sapphire blue water. The girls crafted a single card to express their fragile hearts. The daughters that have grown in my heart rather than in my womb wished me, “Happy Mother’s Day” on this, the Queen’s birthday in Thailand.
It is hard to imagine that you can love so fiercely ones who came from another place and time. I didn’t unwind their tiny clinched fists in their first days on earth or nurse them at my breast. I didn’t see them learn to crawl or take their first steps. And yet God has knit us together in this crazy family afghan wrapping us in soft warmth where before emptiness dwelt. Too many times in the past I have carried life and lost. God graciously allowed three miracle babies to survive the tumultuous shelter of my broken body and tear their way into our world. But even still, my husband and I count 14 others whose lives where too short, 14 babies who opened their eyes for the first time in the glory of the kingdom that awaits us. 17 pregnancies, 14 losses.
And now this. A house brimming with laughter and heart break, love and life. Noise. Chaos. Order. Tears. The pale-skinned children born to us living alongside of the caramel-skinned children brought to us by social workers and rescue teams. We play, we dance, we laugh, we cry. I am left wondering, which way the river of restoration flows. My cave is crowded and this mama bear’s colorblind, culture-blind heart stands fiercely over each and every one of them. Today with azure roses and handmade card they said, “Thank you for loving us.” Today I am grateful to be loved by them.
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