That's right. Lexie turned five today. I can't believe my sweet baby is now an official little girl - ready to start Kindergarten next year. Wow where has the time gone?
I am so humbled to have been chosen by God to parent this amazing, intelligent, creative, imaginative, sweet child and on this, the 5th anniversary of her birth, I found myself thinking about the woman that gave birth to her. After all, I didn't know Lexie five years ago. She was just a prayer and a hope to me. But she was very real to the woman who carried her for 8 months and gave birth to her half way around the world five years ago today.
I'll be honest. I didn't think a lot about this woman the first year or so of my life with Lexie but when I did, I didn't really like her much. I mean what kind of woman could give birth to a child who only weighed 4 lbs 2 oz and didn't have a very good chance of living, sign away all rights to this child and then walk out the door, never to look back? That is exactly what happened 5 years ago today. But with time and reflection I now love this woman.....love her with all my heart because the first choice she made for Lexie was life. She clearly could have made another choice but she didn't. She gave Lexie life and I will be forever grateful to her for that. I've also had time to really consider what choices this woman in Kazakhstan had. I was told they believe she was Muslim and that it is against their religion for a single woman to raise a child on her own. So once she choose life for her child then she could have only done one of two things. She could have kept her and been ostracized by her family, church and community which clearly wouldn't have been a good life for her child - especially a daughter. Or give birth to her and walk away without looking back with the hope that someone would choose to adopt her. And because of the Kazakh "Family" laws back then (who knows what they will be when the country finally re-opens to international adoptions again) she would have had to never look back. Because if a birth mother or father or family member checks up on a child then that child comes off the eligibility list. Just a simple phone call and all her sacrifices would have been for nothing. So if she wanted her child to have the best chance at a good life then she would never be able to know what happened to her. Can you imagine how heartbreaking that would be? How tormenting to your soul? To know that if you truly love her, you can NEVER know what happened to her....NEVER know if she's still living in an institution with 100 other little lost souls or if some family has chosen to bring her into their home and call her daughter and love her like you wanted to or NEVER even know if she lived past her first full day of life. Those were the choices given to her by her country....give up her child with the smallest of hope that she'll have a better life or keep her and both of you might very well end up on the streets. No real choice at all.
I've had several people ask me why I didn't chose to adopt a child from the US. There are a number of personal reasons for it but the biggest reason was one of the choices we have in this country....an adoption plan. Clearly in Kazakhstan there is no such thing. Here in the US if a woman (or child) finds herself pregnant and she wants this child to live, then she has a number of options. Either keep that child to raise herself without any real negative social consequences. Don't get me wrong, I know it can't be easy to be young and raise a child own your own but here in the US there are a LOT of organizations and agencies that would help her and the child to at least meet their basic needs. Or if she decided the child would be better off being raised by other people, than she can make an adoption plan that best fits her wants and needs. She can keep as much contact with that child as both families agree to. She would always know who her child is and where she is and how she is doing. Lexie's birth mother will never have those answers, never know she made the right choice for her daughter, never know that Lexie is a beautiful, bright, happy child that can light up a room with her smile, has a memory that is astonishing and is so quick that she can apply what she knows in ways that leave me speechless, that Lexie will share her toys or food without prompting and gives the best hugs ever. She'll never know that Lexie has a huge imagination and believes in magic and happily ever after. And that Lexie got her Happily Ever After when I adopted her and brought her to a country that will give her choices and rights and a life her birth mother could only dream about. So I love this woman for giving my daughter....our daughter life and the opportunity to become a woman I can only imagine. And for giving me the privilege of raising her and loving her and sharing her life.
So today on the day of Lexie's birth, I thank the Lord for giving me my daughter through this selfless and loving woman. I pray that somehow the Lord will find a way for her to KNOW that Lexie is loved and cared for and will find peace with her decision. And I thank her for the beautiful daughter I call Lexie.
Happy 5th Birthday my beautiful Kazakh Princess!!