I sit here tonight with a million emotions -
Our baby girl is hardly a baby any longer. She is a walker. Walking is what she defers to. She was toddling around this afternoon after dinner, trying to keep up with the big kids. She could hardly hold up her tiny head when we met her. Now she literally runs around. That makes me proud.
Tomorrow is her birthday party. She will officially be 1 on Monday, 9/27. People are coming from all around to mark this milestone with us. We will have cake, music, games and fun. That makes me happy.
Asaye, from Bridge of Hope in Gonder sent us an email today that says he will also "be at her party". He plans to light a candle for Zadie and pray that she is the "happiest girl in the world" on her birthday. He took Zadie into the children's home and had the forethought to call Gladney. His work in Gonder is amazing, and the good people there kept our baby healthy for the first several weeks of her life. That makes me grateful.
Somewhere in Gonder, Ethiopia, a young lady must be thinking about "this time last year". What was she thinking and feeling then? Was she scared? Was she sick? Was she overwhelmed? What is she thinking and feeling this year? Is she sad? Does she have regret? Is she proud of her decision? She may wish she could give her first born a birthday kiss. This makes me feel sad. Sad beyond words.
Also, in Gonder, is a lovely older lady, the birth mother's great aunt, who took Zadie to Bridge of Hope. She was brave. She was selfless. She was strong. This beautiful lady chose the name "Hayat" which we will honor by keeping it as her middle name. Hayat means "long life". I know she had hopes and dreams for the beautiful little baby she relinquished nearly one year ago. This make me feel responsible.
Today at Primrose, my work/Zadie's school, we had our annual celebrating cultures day. Zadie wore the dress given to her by her "special mother" at the coffee ceremony at the Gladney foster care centers. Last time she wore it, we were in Ethiopia. We were just getting to know the precious little lady. This makes me nostalgic.
So, as I sit here, thinking about Zadie's birthday, the emotions are running rampant. I look forward to celebrating her life with family and friends tomorrow. I hope we never forget all of the little "miracles" that had to happen to bring us together.