Nearly a year ago, we handed back the perfect baby girl that was moments away from officially being our adopted newborn daughter. We named her Ruby; although that is not her name now it is how we will forever remember her. We were there to hear her heart beat at her first ultrasound. The little, but strong flutters of her heart melted mine away. We held the photos to her ultrasound counting each finger and toe, dreaming of who she may become. As we set up her nursery, we imagined her growing, walking, playing, and learning. We were there when she had taken just a few breathes in this new world and swaddled her warmly in her white blanket.
Ruby’s fingers firmly grasped mine the first time I held her; her spirit seemed to say, “Oh, there you are. I’ve missed you.” I watched as she opened her eyes for the first time. She looked up to my husband then over to me with a peaceful and curious look on her face. Her skin was soft, the tight curls on her head began to fall, and her lips were the most beautiful lips I’ve ever seen. My body moved with hers as she cried and I cradled her back to peace. As she slept, we studied every inch of her 7 pound, 15 ounce self, and the miracle she was. This was love. This was purpose. This was strength.
Nothing could have prepared me for the change that was right around the corner. Her other mother said she was taking her home. Ruby was taken to a land of painful neglect that landed her in foster care just a few weeks later. With no papers officially signed, she could not come home to us, no matter how hard we fought and tried.
It’s been a year since Ruby was born; my heart will never be as whole as it was when she was in my arms. My heart aches daily. I will always be anchored in the moments I was holding her close, with her fingers grasped onto mine, rocking her softly to sleep. The connection and love that sprung from becoming her mother and than letting her go has changed my life forever.
One night, as I was mourning the loss of Ruby, I cried out to the heavens:
Can she feel my love?
Will she know that my heart has held her every day of her life?
Can she ever feel the tugging love of the bond we share?
Will she know that she has forever shaped and changed my life?
Can she remember how loved she is; how strong she is; how perfect she is?
Will she ever whisper again, “Oh, there you are. I’ve missed you”
Can she find the moments of peace we shared throughout her life?
Will she continue to find me in the quiet moments and feel anchored in strength and peace?
Can I ever hold her in my arms again?
In those quiet hours of wondering, sobbing, praying, feeling, and loving; I pleaded for Ruby to know that even if she never knows me again, that somewhere inside her she will always be attracted to the love and security we felt together; that she will always know Love is her home. Then, I suddenly felt my heart begin to flutter. I felt as though my broken heart was being seen, rocked, and loved. It was not being fixed, but rather nurtured and held close. It was my Mother. Not the mother who carried me in her womb and delivered me into this world; rather, the Mother who grew me in Her heart and has carried me through this world. In this moment my Mother cradled me close and whispered to me:
Can you feel My love?
Will you ever know that My heart has held you every day of your life?
Can you feel the tugging love of the bond we share?
Will you know that you have forever shaped and changed My life?
Can you remember how loved you are; how strong you are; how perfect you are?
Will you look in My eyes again and say, “Oh, there you are. I’ve missed you”
Can you find the moments of peace we shared throughout your life?
Will you continue to find Me in the quiet moments and feel anchored in strength and peace?
Can I ever hold you in my arms again?
Oh Mother, I see You now. I feel You now. I need You now. I love You now. Without knowing You were there I now see how You’ve lifted me in Your love and care each day we’ve spent apart. Thank You for holding me close all these years. I cannot wait to hear Your stories once again. I long for that day when I look into Your eyes again and my heart says I’m home. Oh Mother, there you are. I’ve missed you.