A few months ago I wrote a post titled, Two Worlds Come Together. It was about a small picture of Elsa that we found taped in a photo album we had left with her at the orphanage. Elsa's mother gave her the picture when she went to say goodbye last July. Elsa said that she had left another picture, but we didn't know what it was of or what became of it. Until now...
Alexandra decided to go through a little bag of belongings that Elsa had brought with her from the orphanage. I was certain we had seen everything in there before, but lo and behold, Alexandra came across a little strip of three photographs.
"Who's this?" she asked.
"Oh, that is my sister, Emmabet," Elsa responded nonchalantly.
How had we missed this all these months? We were all so very excited to see a photograph of Elsa's biological sister, Emmabet - who we have heard so much about.
We decided to keep her picture on the refrigerator so that Elsa could see her everyday. Yesterday, I was in the kitchen preparing food for Elisabeth when I heard Elsa walk by and say, "Hello, Emmabet." I smiled.
What a treasure. A gift a mother gave her daughter to help her remember her past, to help her remember where she came from, to remind her that far, far away, there is a sister who loves her.
Elsa's biological family holds a special place in my heart. Truth be told, I think of them often. I don't know if it's normal, for an adoptive parent to think of her child's biological family as regularly as I do, but I feel a great responsibility to them. Elsa's mother - as well as her brother and sister - bid farewell with the hope and trust that Elsa would be given a better life. In my opinion, it is one of the greatest sacrifices a mother (and family) can make. And that is why I keep them so close in my heart and mind; why I remember them. They inspire me to be the best I can be, and to give Elsa the life that they wanted for her.