Monday, September 16, 2013

A Mother's Heart

On the other side of the world, in the Gambela region of Ethiopia, there is a woman named Seyba. I've never met her, and most likely never will, but we will always be connected in a very special way. You see, we share a daughter.

Seyba married young and had her first child at the age of 15. Two years later she gave birth to a second child, and several years after that, a third - little Elsa. After her husband died in a fall, Seyba simply could not provide for all three of her children; she had to make the difficult decision to relinquish Elsa to an orphanage.

Knowing of Seyba and her great sacrifice has added an extra layer of emotion to this adoption process. I have thought about a mother, far, far away, whose heart is aching. It has been hard for me to reconcile how the very thing that is causing her pain, is bringing me joy. So conflicting.

But amid those conflicting thoughts, I remember that we are both mothers - and I know what is in a mother's heart: love. Seyba loved Elsa so much that she was willing to say goodbye. What strength it must have taken to make that sacrifice; to let her child go. She is trusting me with Elsa - trusting me to raise her, and nurture her, and make sure she is safe and loved.

This is not a responsibility I take lightly. I owe it to Seyba to do everything I can to give Elsa the best life possible. And so I will. I will read her stories, and help her with homework. I will teach her to bake and sing with her at the piano. I will help her discover her talents. I will share in her joys and provide comfort when she feels sorrow. Indeed, I will be her mother. I will do it for Seyba.

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