I just finished one of the most difficult things that I do in a year's time: writing a letter to Yikealo's birthmom. What can I possibly say to her that can really let her know how wonderfully he is doing? Do the tidbits that we share of his life in America actually have any meaning for her? Will she understand what it means when I tell her that he is very gifted athletically or that he is learning to read? Am I rubbing salt into an open wound when I tell her the little ways that he blesses our lives every day, or is it somehow healing to know that he is cared for beyond measure? What would I want to know if I were in her shoes? What will she think of the picture that Yikealo drew for her: three colorful, smiling stick figures standing beside a crudely drawn house, surrounded by sunshine and flowers? The littlest stick figure is holding a lizard on his shoulders - not that she'll have any idea what those particular purple scribbles mean. Will someone tell her that the strange markings sloping down the middle of the page are the English letters of Yikealo's name - scrawled by his little hand? What about all of the photos that I send? Is it too painful to look at all of the beautiful pictures of his little beaming face, or do her hungry eyes stare at them for long minutes - trying to catalog all of the changes since she last saw him?
Then there are just the logistics of the whole situation. Do the letters and photos actually ever reach her hands? Are they translated into her language, and if so, how many meanings were lost in the translation? Does she know anyone who can read it to her? So many hard questions...and I find myself in tears once again: so grateful to her for giving Yikealo life, so changed by her pain and her loss, so prayerful that God will comfort her as only He can.
"Your pain has changed me, your dream inspires, your face a memory, your hope a fire. Your courage asks me what I am made of and what I know of love." (Sara Groves - I Saw What I Saw)