Heart for Orphans: Dear Mira

In 2012, the Christian Alliance for Orphans is hosting a series of guest blog posts from respected bloggers from across the U.S. Each offers a fresh outlook on an important issue facing Christians committed to caring for orphans through adoption, foster care and/or global orphan initiatives. Posts reflect the unique perspective of the blogger, not necessarily the entire Alliance. Ultimately, the posts will inspire and provoke, encourage and challenge the burgeoning Christian orphan care movement.

Today’s post is a joy bubble, which is appropriate, as its author is a joy bubble herself. Lora Lynn and her husband Andrew are the proud and exhausted parents of seven children, ages eight and under. (Let that sink in for a moment.) The newest addition made his appearance just last week; baby Finn was born March 6. That means Mira, the sweet daughter Lora Lynn and Andrew adopted just last year, is no longer the youngest in the family. Time marches on.

Lora Lynn’s blog is Vitafamiliae, which means “the life of our family,” and she does a beautiful job chronicling the mess and laughter of life together and the sweet mercy of the grace of God. Today’s post is the letter Lora Lynn wrote to Mira on her second birthday. 

Dear Mira, I wasn’t there the day you were born. I didn’t smell your head or nuzzle you up under my neck. I didn’t make sure you were warm or swaddle you up tight. I only have someone else’s stories and some vague words on a birth certificate to whisper in your ear about your first breath. But I know everyone agreed you were a Miracle.

And when you needed me, I got there as fast as I could. Eleven months later, I tucked you up under my chin and nuzzled your little shaved head.

I counted your toes and blew zerberts on your belly andwe sweated together in the African heat.

I can’t tell you stories about the month leading up to your birth, but I have a million stories about the month before you turned one. About how your daddy got dehydrated on the flight to meet you, how you met us at the airport. I can tell you aboutour day in court when the judge threw us out and demanded more proof you should be ours. We didn’t stop to question or cry (even when I wanted to), we simply headed to the slums and found our proof. You nestled in my arms and Daddy wore his suit through the rivers of mud and excrement.

I will tell you someday how you slept draped across my neck and snored your serenade. I will tell you how exhausted and sleep deprived I was, how I left my passport and money behind one day and we were robbed. I will tell you that I cried. And then I can tell you how God was at work, using every little thing, good and bad, for His glory. That God used our robbery to convince the judge to have mercy on us. That instead of kissing your sweet cheeks good-bye for a few weeks and flying home, we sat outside a passport office and prayed your passport into our hands.

And then, miraculously, we boarded a plane, the three of us, bound for Family.

You were just one day away from turning one when we introduced you to your siblings. I remember walking into our house after a month in Africa and breathing deep the smell of Home. But it was unfamiliar and altogether brand new for you. We later learned you couldn’t even breathe deeply with swollen tonsils and adenoids.

So we stayed awake with you while you tossed in your new surroundings and we introduced you to new faces, foods, and ways of doing. We struggled through illness. You struggled for identity. I spent six months trying to make up for lost time by cuddling you close in my arms for hours. You cried, I cried. Your daddy held us both. And God took the mess and He made it beautiful.

You learned to like your pack of siblings. You are utterly lost without them by your side. Today, I watched you sit and chat with Willa over lunch, happily slinging your feet while she fed you chips. She is your best friend, no matter how much the two of you fuss.

You fell in love with your Daddy. He is the wind beneath your wings and the warm milk in your sippy cup.

And you speak my name for what it is: Mommy.

Last night, I lathered you up with shea butter and hair cream and sent you off to bed. You gave me my good night “mwah” and toddled off in your footie pajamas. When your daddy lifted you to the top of the stairs, you shouted, “Ta-da!” for all of us to celebrate with you.

What a difference a year makes.

Ta-da!, indeed, little girl. You’re every bit our Miracle.

Happy 2nd Birthday!!