Let's call her Missy. Isn't she beautiful? Last night I had the privilege of watching her dance her first pas de deux part in her studio's production of Sleeping Beauty. She did such a lovely job!
Why am I introducing you to Missy?
Because she is almost exactly a year older than my Garnet.
Look at them again.
Shortly after my 13th birthday, I was walking into the local hospital to meet my baby sister after she was born. There was a quarantine in effect at the time and I was the only one of my siblings that got to meet Missy in the hospital. I remember holding her in my arms and thinking how sweet she was.
A year later, almost to the date, a little girl was born in Eastern Europe. Maybe her CP was immediately evident; in any case, she was very quickly checked into the local orphanage and no one ever checked her out.
This young lady
Will be the aunt of this young lady.
I suppose maybe lots of adoptive parents go through this phase; looking at their children/children to be and wondering what they would look like if they had been loved by a family all of their lives.
I know Garnet has CP, and she probably never would have been dancing in Sleeping Beauty even if she had grown up in a caring, loving family. That doesn't matter. I never did either! What matters is that she has never gotten to do anything. As far as many people who have cared for her were concerned, she didn't have potential for anything. You can definitely pick up a flavor of that just from reading her file description.
The good news is that love is good for even those children who have been unloved for so long! I have seen this in other children from the same orphanage.
Love and care make such a difference.
So it's time to stop wondering what things might have been like for Garnet and to prepare for what things will be like.
We are praying that we will be able to shower her (like all of our children) with unconditional love, and that we will take joy in her successes as much as we take joy in the successes of our other family members, even if they seem trivial to an outside observer. We are excited to help her blossom and become the best that she can be. We know it will be hard. But we also know it will be worth it.