Our daughter has been living in the same orphanage now for over 10 years, and has watched countless children leave her orphanage to join their forever families. For 10 years, she has wondered why they never chose her. For 10 years, she has probably wondered why she wasn't good enough. The picture that was in her file was from when she was about 7 years old. You can see that her face was still filled with so much joy and hope for the future even though she had been waiting for a family of her own for over 4 years.
But, something happened in the years since that adorable picture was taken. She became older, and wiser, and yet, she still seemed to be passed over time and time again. I can only imagine how that made her feel. I can not imagine the pain that she endured year after year, desperately wanting a family, and yet never being chosen. I was able to see some updated pictures of her several months ago. I have never shared them because they broke my heart. The years of rejection seemed to show on her face. I could see how absolutely beautiful she was, but the hope and joy just wasn't there anymore. Perhaps she had resigned herself to the fact that she would never know what it meant to belong.
But, last Monday, was her 13th birthday. I wonder if she even knew it was her birthday. Why would she? It was likely just a day like any other day for all of these years. I doubt that she had been celebrated in the 10 years that she lived in the orphanage. But, this year, her birthday was different. This year, her birthday was filled with hope for the future. This year, she knew she had a family coming for her. This year she had a family who planned a party for her even though they were on the other side of the world. This year, she was celebrated. This year will be the last birthday she will ever celebrate without her family by her side. This year, joy and hope for the future has returned to her face.
Happy 13th Birthday, our sweet girl! We love you SO MUCH!. I pray that our love will hold your heart until the day that we can hold you in our arms. You are beautiful. You are loved. You are special. You are wanted. You belong. You are chosen. And, you are WORTH it!