The questions are constant. “Was I in your tummy? Did I sleep with you when I was a baby? Did you hold me like this (cradles arms to hold invisible baby) and rock me when I was your little baby? When I was baby did you feed me? Did I wear diapers? Did you sing to me when I cried?” Everyday there are new questions. My answer? With as much self-doubt as is humanly possible, I manage to stumble over a few words and out tumbles an explanation about the other Mommy.
“God gave you another Mommy. A special Mommy that carried you safely inside her for 9 long months. You grew and grew inside this other Mommy’s tummy. And God watched over you.” My answer is far from perfect and I always wonder if I am saying too much or too little.
“The other Mommy” has become a favorite topic of conversation for H. She makes up stories about her, asks many questions (those pesky ones that have no answer), and asks to go visit. Last night as we were getting ready to go to bed, she starts crying. Those big, silent tears, the ones that come from deep, deep sorrow.
“What’s wrong,” I ask as I scoop her into my arms.
“I miss my other Mommy and Daddy!” she cried. And the body-shaking sobs began. There was nothing to do but hold her close and let her cry. This is not the kind of pain or boo-boo that a Mommy’s kiss can make all better.
She remembers glimpses of people before the orphanage but mostly I think she is grieving the loss of something she knows should a part of her life. She wants to hear stories about when she was a baby. She wants the connection of being my baby, or someone’s.
I am thankful for H’s other Mommy. I don’t feel threatened or offended, just incredibly ill-prepared for the questions, the doubting, the searching that is apart of our every day life. Someone cared for H, someone helped her, but I have very little information of her life before the orphanage.
How do I help her make peace with her past? How do I help her know she is a part of our family regardless of who birthed her? How do I help her know who she is on this life-long journey? So many questions, so few answers.
Just like other areas in our lives, this requires us to walk by faith, not by sight. We must trust the Lord to do a mighty work in H’s heart to bring healing physically, emotionally, and spiritually. God gave us to each other to be a family. He is doing a great work, in spite of the hardship, in spite of the heartache.
Hanissa may never get all the answers she is looking for but she can have confidence that she is beautifully and wonderfully made. She can know joy in a sin-filled, disease stricken world. She can know peace that is beyond human understanding even as she wonders about her past.
The other Mommy will always be a part of Hanissa. And maybe, one day, we will know more (although, knowing doesn’t always bring joy) about her. But regardless of who she is, I am thankful for her and the precious gift she gave us.