letter to Mikisa

my sweet and beautiful Miki girl,

right now they are “fixing your brain.”  we’ve been talking about it for a while, and i know you sense that this is a big deal.  i want you to know that even though they have to do such a drastic surgery, your brain has always been perfect to me.  i love you just the way you are!  you are so special.  i love the way you think and i love the way you talk.  i love the way you have learned so much in 3 short years since i met you…and you’ve done all of it with only 1/2 a brain.  you are so smart!  you are incredible!!  you are an overcomer.  you have defied the odds so many times sweet girl.  i am so thankful you are alive and that God chose us to be your parents.  what a gift He gave us in you.

i remember the first time i saw you.  i remember your hollow eyes and your malnourished body rocking back and forth as you softly hummed your haunting, rhythmic melody.  it brought me to my knees to see such suffering, but i think you always had your song.  was it because you always knew that God was with you?  i believe so.  i remember the day i scooped you off of your spot on the streets to take you home with me.  your body shook with fear, as did mine.  but somehow i sensed, even on that first day with you, that you were mine.  and as you fought malaria and you almost died during that first week with me, i prayed passionately for you…i desperately wanted you to live so i could get to know you better.  i remember the first seizure you had with me, just two days after you moved in.  your body jerked and your eyes rolled back, and i felt the strong grip of fear that has now become familiar.  you were so precious and innocent, but people thought you were cursed.  that was the day i named you Mikisa Mae, welcome blessing.

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i think you and God have a special connection.  i know He loves you with a fierce and tender compassion.  He redeemed you from the pit of being alone and unwanted.  He has given you fullness in place of emptiness.  beauty from ashes.  He knew that your life was so special.  He had a plan for you, even though you felt abandoned and hopeless.  He brought us together and made us a family, and for that i am so eternally grateful.  God knew that you needed to come to the United States because your epilepsy was very serious.  He knew that you would have a 45 minute seizure that dreaded October night just a few months after we arrived, and that you needed to be living 10 minutes from a really good hospital, so the doctors could save you.  He has protected you through so much in your short life.  i know He is with you today too.

even though it makes me really sad that i missed so many years of your life, and that i wasn’t there for you when you really needed someone, i am honored that i got to be the one who helped you learn how to walk.  it was so hard, and i know you were so mad at me for forcing you to move.  i remember sobbing with you during your physical therapy sessions.  you hated your brace and you didn’t want to hold on to your walker.  the therapist told me you may never walk independently, that your motor planning was severely lacking and you had no balance.  but you were determined.  you practiced in therapy.  you practiced at home.  you practiced in school.  you fell many times.  but finally, at the age of six and a half, you got it!  you walked all by yourself. i was so proud of you. now, you are unstoppable!!  you can do so many things that we never thought would be possible.

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you have also learned how to talk.  when i met you, your only words were “mama” (you called everyone that) and “mpa” which means “give me.”  you were programmed to beg.  that breaks my heart, and i wish i could take it all away.  i wish this surgery would reset the part of your brain that remembers your hauntingly painful past.  but i am so thankful that you are able to express yourself with words now.  you used to be so frustrated when you couldn’t tell us what you were thinking.  remember how you used to hit us and scream when we got you dressed?  those days were really hard on all of us.  that was right after mommy and daddy got married, so we all had to learn how to be a family at the same time. we are so grateful that you have learned how to say big words like “frustrated” and “disappointed” and “angry” so that you can tell us how you feel instead of biting or punching us.   i’m glad you know you belong now, even though you sometimes still get scared and think we are leaving you.  just yesterday, you told me, “mom, don’t leave me at the hospital. okay?”  i wish you knew that we aren’t going anywhere, that you’re stuck with us.  you’re a daughter now.  our daughter.

you bring us so much joy with your spunky personality.  i love the way you ask daddy every night “how was work?”  and i love the way you get so excited when people come over for dinner.  you’re always the first at the door to welcome them, usually saying “come on in!”  i love how you always want to know how i’m feeling, and you’re the first to notice when i’m sad or “stwessed out.”  i love how you always want to “talk a little bit” right after you get home from school, and you love to tell me about your friends.  i love how you tell me multiple times a day, “mom, i do love you.”  it makes me laugh and it makes me feel so loved.

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God knew our family needed you Miki.  you are so loved and so wanted.  i know that when you wake up today, you will be so confused and scared.  i hope that you aren’t too mad at us.  we chose this surgery because we want life for you!  the doctors all said that this was our only option, and that if we didn’t do this, we would lose you.  and we can’t imagine life without you.  so we are hoping and praying that today is the beginning of a better life for you.  a life without seizures and without all the confusion and chaos that has been going on in your brain.  you are such a strong girl.  you’re the strongest person i know.  and you are so brave.  i just know that you’re going to be okay.  you’re going to bounce back quickly.  they might be shutting off half your brain, but they can’t take away your spirit!  you have taught us so much in the short time we’ve known you.  you teach us about unconditional love, about living in the moment, and about joy.  you live out loud.  you sing and dance and love so big.  you are a world changer.  you have changed my life little one.

i love you,

mommy

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For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) 

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12 responses to “letter to Mikisa

  1. Beautifully written…..and I don’t have dry eyes either. God’s love is written all over this story of Makisa and your family! Blessings to each of you and believing in His best for your precious daughter!

  2. God bless you real big today and hold you really tight. You have been in my thoughts and prayers and will remain so. Love you guys……

  3. Christina, I’ve been reading every one of your posts and praying for you and your family. I understand how hard this is for you all. Just want you to know I’m praying and thinking about you and Mikisa now as well.
    Blessings,
    Rebecca

  4. A wonderful testimony to, daring, risk taking, and unconditional love.
    May this surgery be a pruning of past trauma, disease, and pain, to yield much fruit; a blossoming forth for Mikisa.

  5. So beautiful! You are all heroes! You are so blessed to have Mikisa and she is so blessed to have you! Praying for you today!

  6. I am in agreement with Beth. That those many painful, traumatic memories will be removed in this surgery. Praying for You, Mama. And, for your Beautiful Miki!

  7. What a lovely and touching letter. You are the wonderful Mommy that He selected for your beautiful daughter.

  8. God speed. How sweet it was to see her adoration for my son Jack at church. And how much sweeter it will be again to see her smiling and loving once she recovers. I admire your trust and courage. This young child has made your entire family a role model for all of us. Showing us how to love and to offer patience with one another. May He bless you for this faithful obedience 1000 times over. It is an honor to read your story. How remarkable it is to see a child once declared never to walk again to actually climbing and descending the staircase at church. I lift you all up in praise!

  9. Reading this on the bus to Kampala, tears streaming down my face! This is beautiful! Oh how I rejoice for the beautiful gift of Mikisa, for you as her mama and for your beautiful family! She is such a gift of joy and full of life (happy, frustrated, drumming, dancing, upset, delighted…full!). I remember so many sweet times with you and her here, and I love little windows into life unfolding for y’all even from far away. Praying with you for her, praying for you and Troy, and praying with hope for all He will do in and through precious meems! He has great and mighty plans sister.

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