Zoya's had a little cold the past few days. She's been coughing a bit but only at night after she's been asleep for a few hours. Last night a little after midnight she started coughing pretty bad and couldn't stop. I went into her room and picked her up out of her crib. I held her tight and rocked her and loved on her and eventually her coughing stopped and she drifted to sleep in my arms. As she slept in my arms I just kept thanking God for giving us one another. I thought of all the times Zoya had probably been sick (we know she had pneumonia and frequent colds and of course heart surgery). I got really sad thinking of all the times that she probably laid in her crib coughing, or in pain, or having a bad fever....with no mama to pick her up and comfort her and rock her back to sleep. I wondered about her recovery after her surgery and if anyone comforted her at all. While I held her and kissed her cheeks I couldn't help but think of all the lonely nights she endured before she became ours forever. I couldn't help but picture her as a tiny baby just laying in a crib all alone. I felt angry and strangely a little guilty. I am her mama and I wasn't there. Of course I wasn't...I didn't even know she existed! How could I feel guilty? There is not a thing I could have done that would have gotten us to her any faster. How I wish I could have been Zoya's mama from day one. How I wish I could erase the lonely nights from her story.
Those lonely nights will always be a part of her story...a part that will make me sad every time I think about it, but a part none-the-less. There is nothing I can do to change those 22 months or erase them from existence as much as I'd sometimes like to...because it would be easier that way. Knowing Zoya lived for 22 months without anyone on Earth who truly loved her...knowing she lived 22 months without feeling a mama or daddy's love makes my stomach hurt and my heart break...it takes the breath right out of my lungs. I can't take those lonely nights away. They are part of her story....her amazing redemptive story. Knowing Zoya had so many lonely nights makes me a better mama. It makes me want to take every second of every day and just pour every ounce of my love into her soul. It makes me want to give her the stars and the moon. I may not be able to take those lonely nights away, but I sure can promise that I will be there giving my angel all I've got always and forever from that point on.
Always and forever and then some...that's how long we'll love you Zoya.