“I wish” and “I hope”

Dear Ruth and Cynthia,

There are two parts to this letter for you both, a letter that I’m writing to you before I even know you or you know me, Celine. And a letter of all the things I didn’t know to write before we brought you home, Ruth. The two parts are “I wish” and “I hope.”

I wish we weren’t adopting you. I wish that years ago, your circumstances would have been drastically different. I wish that you were growing up with your biological mother and father, in your birth country celebrating your traditions, working on making your country a better place by being an amazing person. And I wish that you had never experienced trauma, so much trauma, more than any child should have to experience. I wish that the dedicated social workers would have never had to know your name, or give you one, let alone determine what was to be of your future. I wish that you would have never been placed in foster care and then an orphanage. I wish that you would never have to wonder why- why you aren’t living with your biological parents in your birth country engaging happily in your culture. And I wish that you wouldn’t have to go through life without the answers to the questions that might haunt you. I wish that your little life had been a safe, happy and stable routine of laughter, adventure and love. I wish that you had never been put up for adoption.

But I hope that you will know true love from us, your new family. I hope that the rest of your childhood is marked by friendship, security and exploring your world and who you are in it. I hope that the only traumatic experiences you will every endure again have something to do with pimples or stuttering in front of the cute boy. I hope that, although you have had no say in your life so far, and no say in this adoption thing happening to you, that you will be happy with your life, despite all that could have been. I hope you know I love you and will always love you. Flesh and blood connections are earthly- but God has given us a stronger connection than what is of this world. Even though you will always have “I wishes” in your past, there are beautiful moments, beautiful lives that happen amidst them.

I hope, more than anything else, that you come to know our Heavenly Father in the most intimate of ways. I hope your lives are marked by His glory, and that the “I wishes” of your past are simply a part of your story that leads you to Him. I hope that you see the beauty in our brokenness, all of our brokenness, and that although there is so much unknown in your lives, you know what is essential: God loves you, we love you, and you are capable of loving to the fullest. Hoping is stronger than wishing. Let your lives be defined by the hope you have in God.

Forever your mother,