Tonight, for the first time, Shawn and I talked about Mila's surgery...I mean really talked. Talked about how difficult it was and how scared we were and how blessed we are to have her here today. We talked about how long this journey has been and I thought about how good it feels to finally be able to look back at it as a memory, as something that tested us and in the end made us stronger.
The hardest part for me was seeing Mila right after her surgery. I felt weak looking at her little helpless body. I felt physically sick seeing her like that. The memory of walking into that room and seeing her is still so fresh in my mind. Shawn reminded me that the hardest time for him through all of it was when she was coming out of the sedation (unintentionally) but still paralyzed and had tears draining from her eyes just falling down her cheeks. Oh how helpless we both felt. I wonder briefly how we got through that time, how we watched our sweet girl go through such a major surgery. Then I remember "we" didn't do anything. It was only through the strength of God that we got through each moment, one at a time.
I was telling Shawn how fiercely I love this sweet daughter of ours and how my love has grown for her so greatly. I loved both of my girls from the moment I saw them, but it took time, with both of them, to feel this roaring mama-bear love that I have for both of them now. For some reason I'm taken-aback all over again with this fierceness of love I feel for another human being. It's the same way I feel as Zoya's mama, but it just takes me by surprise that I can feel like this all over again for my second daughter. I'm falling more in love with both of them every day.
We chatted about Zoya and Mila's past lives in their orphanages and hospitals and how we so wish we could have been there for them then. We talked a lot about how scared Zoya must have been going through open heart surgery without a mama and a daddy. Thinking of that nearly crushes me, but I remember that God protected her physically during that time, and I have to believe he protected her emotionally. We talked about how our girls might be different had they started day one with the love and attention of a mama and daddy that they deserved. Would Zoya be so strong-willed had she not had to fight so hard her first two years of life? Would Mila be less sensitive had she felt valued and safe from day 1? In the end those thoughts are irrelevant and wouldn't change anything about how we feel about our girls, yet they're still thought that float through my head from time to time.
We agreed that if we could be given a magic glass ball to see their days without us, we wouldn't be strong enough to look. We wouldn't be able to see the terrible things our girls went through without us because honestly, we FORGET they weren't always ours. We forget they weren't always here with us. We love them so fiercely that, given the chance to see the pain and hurt they both likely went through as orphans, we'd run the other way. We'd never be strong enough to see all of that. As much as we wonder about their lives before us, or their birth families, or the fact that we don't even have a birth mother name to tell Zoya one day, we know God has planned each piece of this puzzle in this exact way. Though, that doesn't make the wondering disappear. I often find myself daydreaming about what their birth parents look like or what they're doing at this exact mome or if they have any idea of both the pain and the love their children have experienced thus far without them. Oh some days it's just so much for my heart to bear that I can't help but just give it all to God.
At the end of the day, today, I know that Shawn and I and Zoya and Mila are exactly where we are meant to be in this moment in time. Despite all our fears, and wonders, and worries, and thoughts of the past, I can honestly say I wouldn't change a piece of our story. Yah, I wish we could have been there for Zoya when she went through her open heart surgery, or that we could have witnessed the day Mila was born, or celebrated Zoya's first birthday with her, or sat by Mila's side as she lay intubated in ICU in Ukraine for months.....but I know that God's plan is far better than anything I could wish for and I know had we been able to experience those things, we would not be exactly where we are right now, which is exactly where we are meant to be.
Thankful tonight for exactly what He has given us!