I love spending Mother's Day with my mother. And I'm a mother myself. But this year, there is another mother I'm thinking about on the eve of this Mother's Day.
There is a mother in China who faced a terrible impossible choice when her baby was born to her needing medical help to survive. Babies born with cleft lips and palates are not able to nurse or suck from a bottle. They are at risk for extreme feeding issues. The may choke often or they may not get enough nourishment and be unable to grow.
Furthermore, in China, and other third world countries, a cleft lip means a lifetime of sadness. There is no hope that a child like this will be allowed to attend school, have a wage earning job, or ever marry. There is little hope that the lip can be repaired. And without repair of the cleft palate, speech will forever be difficult to understand.
I don't know much for certain about Cami's birth, but I can be fairly sure that she was born into one of the most impoverished areas of Jiangxi province. She had many strikes against her at birth. But she had something else. She had a will to live. And she had God watching over her.
Somewhere in China, Cami's mother likely thinks of her every single day. And for all the happiness I share because Cami is in my life, there is an emptiness inside someone else.
And I wish she knew.......
I wish she knew that Cami woke up between her mom and dad this morning...... and that she asked to wear pajamas all day and we let her.....I wish she knew that Cami baked muffins today and pretended to be a cat. I wish she could hear Cami's raspy little voice and see how she looks fresh from the tub.
I wish she knew that Cami was safe and incredibly loved.
And maybe she does know. Maybe she is able, in her Mother's heart, to feel at peace. And maybe that peace began in August when we brought Cami home, and maybe somehow she feels sure her baby is doing okay somewhere in the world. I can't tell her everything is okay. I can't reach her in any tangible way.
But I can do something. I can love this child that is both my child and her child. And I will be forever linked to a woman in China who made a terribly impossible decision and has to live with the not knowing. I will carry her on Mother's Day. And maybe somehow she will know.