today it was the music that took me back there. to the place where my heart was broken. i heard the familiar lyrics in Luganda and percussive accompaniment, and tears welled before i realized what was happening. my mind took me back there, walking towards her tiny frame, huddled protectively in an oversized, tattered dress. she glanced up at me, but then immediately looked down, thumb in her mouth, and started rocking and humming that haunting monotonous rhythm. i heard the sounds of the street, the banter of vendors and laughter of children and honking of horns. but i only saw her. so broken and vulnerable and alone.
now, as i sit rocking my fair skinned chubby bundle of joy, the tears stream down my cheeks and i am suddenly overcome with grief at how unfair life was for my african princess. how i wasn’t there to rock her when she was a baby, so she rocked herself. how i wasn’t there to feed her when she was hungry or comfort her when she was sick. how alone she must have felt on the hard dirt…she must have been such a gorgeous baby. did she ever smile? did she play with the rocks and dirt? was it music that kept her alive when love failed her? was it God? why did she have to wait for 5 years for someone to find her and love her? to finally belong??
she has started asking questions already. with her expressive language delay, communication is very challenging. but slowly, we are talking in bits and pieces about her life before we met. “Miki sick in afwica? why, mommy?” i answer, “because you didn’t have enough food and you didn’t have medicine to help your brain.” she says, “Miki can’t walk, can’t talk?” I say, “but now you can! and you’re so strong and healthy too.” She usually ends with, “Miki sad?” and I say, “You were very sad and lonely, but now you have a family and we love you very much”. we have been having different versions of this conversation for several weeks now. more or less the same thing every day. i’m not sure if it’s healthy or not, but she always initiates it, so i guess it’s something she needs right now.
while she is doing much better overall, there are still moments of grief laced through our days. and sometimes i just want to escape the pain…i find myself wishing for a less complicated life, where we wouldn’t have to struggle so hard. but i know deep down that i was born for this and that this is my purpose in life. to choose love every day and to rely heavily on God to be my strength when i am weak. that is the beauty of this journey. the grace that surrounds this rocky road is so very real, and i am so very thankful!