I've had quite a few thoughts about what I'd post today...this last post until we return from the Embassy. Millions of little blog fragments have floated in and out of my scattered brain in the last 24 hours. I guess what I most want to say, though, is this...
We are so grateful for this beautiful young woman, this Vespera, this daughter of ours. Her "real" name means "freedom." And that is what we are trying to obtain for her...freedom. I think that there are many ways to serve God on this planet, and many of them do not require education or some vast skill set. But some of them do. And I believe that Vespera's freedom will mean that she has access to the education and the tools to become what God intends for her to be in this life. And I believe as surely as the sun rises each morning that God has an incredible plan for this girl...this woman...our daughter. Why else would she have come to us on the last whispers of our evening prayers, our Vespera? For, "Vespera" is the Latin word for "evening prayer." And she was the answer.
I have learned much, as perhaps all parents do, since the day she joined our family. Perhaps one of the most valuable lessons has been to honestly be present with my children each day, to pay attention, and to open my heart and my emotions to each moment. I sometimes mourn for the days I didn't know Vespera, the moments I missed from her childhood, not just to protect her from the suffering she has known but also to have witnessed her first smiles, watched her hair grow long, and held her chubby baby hands. And so I pay that much more attention now...to Vespera and to Mane. And I "treasure up all those things and ponder them in my heart," just as Mary did with the baby Jesus.
And there was a day last winter when I sent Mango off with Vespera on a swift trip to the Emergency Room in the middle of the night, and I paced the floors and prayed, wondering if her time with us was over so soon. I knew then, as I had known already, and as I know still more deeply now, that love for this woman child pulses like blood in my veins, and I would be left faint with a hole in my heart without her. I begged and pleaded with God. And she came home in the wee morning hours, sick and exhausted, but alive.
So, I walk in gratitude each day, thankful for joy and pain, laughter and longing, and even for the thick anxiety that fills my stomach because it means my daughter is here. She is alive. I have her with me today. And I will be grateful for each moment that I can know her and be her mother. Even if she isn't granted a visa and we all move to Mexico. Even if nothing goes as planned and we have to rearrange our whole lives. I would do this for her...for Mane...for Mango. For these precious people, nothing is too much to ask.
I think that's how God feels about us, too...
that nothing is too much to ask.
So, tonight and each night, until we return...
we will pray for freedom for our little evening prayer.
Thank you to all of you whose hearts go with us and who will be waiting for our return.