Today I mailed a small package to Sophie. We actually send it to our agency and they get it there through people who are travelling to Ethiopia. It included an 8 by 10 picture of Josh and me laminated, a "Who Loves Baby" book filled with pictures of us and our families, and a small purple polka dotted blanket with "Sophia Yenenesh" embroidered on it in yellow. (Thanks Amy!) It strikes me every time I see her name written or hear it said aloud - this sounds obvious, I know - she is a real person! It is so strange. I have a picture of her. Two of them actually. She has two hands and two feet, she weighs 10.5 lbs (as of referral), she has big brown eyes. We see that she is real!
But there is so much we don't know about her. Just like all expectant parents I assume, I often wonder what she'll be like. Tall or short. Athletic or artsy. Shy or outgoing. We just don't know. It's just so amazing to know that she was created and that much about her has already been determined... in that thing we call DNA. They say that the nurture vs. nature argument will never be solidly won, but I think there is no question that there will be things about Sophie that are purely and completely from her birth parents. Maybe they'll be obvious from the beginning. Maybe they'll show up over time as she grows and learns and matures. And she'll probably wonder herself if her mom looked like her, if she had any mannerisms like her dad.
And as I continue to ponder her as a "real" person, I hurt for her that she doesn't have the opportunity to live with the people whose DNA she carries. Don't get me wrong, I am so thrilled and thankful that we are going to have the opportunity to raise her and love her and embrace her as if "born" into our family. How unfortunate, though, that children are even in situations in this world where they need to be adopted in the first place. I didn't realize how heavy this would weigh on my heart... once I knew our baby. I grieve for her that she cannot have the opportunity to grow up with her birth parents, even though I know we will love her just like she was born to us. I can only hope that this will help me to empathize with her when we begin the bonding process in just a few short weeks, and that I will be able to give her the time she needs to accept us as her mom and dad.
Thanks for your prayers!