our little girl has never celebrated her birthday. today she is six and we are throwing her a big party because her life is worth celebrating! in reflecting on the past 10 months and how this enchanting little girl has opened my heart and mind, i decided to start a tradition of writing her a letter on her birthday each year. i will share these letters with her when she is older.
dear Mikisa Mae,
we have been home now for almost 4 months and i’m so excited that today is your 6th birthday and we get to celebrate you. we are making your favorite ugandan foods—rice and beans, samosas, cabbage and chapatti—and lighting candles and blowing up balloons. we’re inviting some of your favorite people to come spend the evening together. we will make a fire and do some singing and dancing. i hope that today you can feel how loved you are, even if you don’t really “get” this whole birthday thing quite yet. you are such a gift to our family and we are so thankful for you!
when i gave you your name i didn’t know how fitting it was. you really are a welcome blessing and we thank God for you every day. the day i first met you (february 2nd 2011) and sat there on the dirt road with your tiny sick body cradled in my arms, i knew that God had a plan for both of us. i brought you home with me a few days later. you were scared and had no idea what was going on, but you called me mama and let me take care of you. you taught me so much about love. those first few weeks, you fought hard for your life and a few times we thought we’d lose you. but you had a fierce determination to survive. you beat the odds little one. i am so proud of you!
in february, you fit easily into 6 month clothes. you looked and acted like a baby. you couldn’t move at all (we thought your entire left side was paralyzed) and your only word was “mama”. you spent your days sucking your thumb and rocking and humming in your little world. you didn’t trust anyone and you were very sad. you’ve changed so much since then. now you go to kindergarten, you don’t stop talking and you’re getting really close to being able to walk all by yourself. you’re a happy girl and you love to laugh. you’re so big too…you’ve gained 20 pounds and you wear size 5 clothes. you have grown so much in such a short time that it’s hard to believe you are the same little girl. our miracle girl. most importantly, you are discovering what it means to be loved and to belong in a family.
you have such a captivating personality! you love music—you turn everything into a song. your rhythm is incredible and we love to watch you dance. your sense of humor always catches us off guard…you’re so funny and smart! you love to babble in your sweet ugandan-sounding voice and you know exactly what you are saying. you have learned about 40 new english words and we love how you try to tell us stories every night when we sit down for dinner. you are learning about life in america and while i know it has not been easy for you, you seem to like the changing seasons with the leaves falling and the strong winds.
beautiful girl, i am getting to know you more and more with each passing day and our love just keeps growing stronger. your little life with all its pain, obstacles, redemption and joy is teaching me about our big God and his heart for each of his children. He loves you so much. i want you to grow up in that knowledge. you are strong because you have a powerful God who has been holding you in His hands all these years even when it probably felt like you were totally alone. your life has been touched by His grace. we all have felt His love so strongly this year. it’s a magical journey we’re on together, and i couldn’t be happier to share this road with you as your mama. you are dearly loved.