One of her seven surgeries.

Warm tears were streaming down her face and there I sat a little dumfounded. Just moments ago we were cuddling and giggling goofy. She is five and she spends her days being silly, light hearted, helpful, soaking in everything she can. She learns so quickly.

Why had I not wondered if she knew?

She knows about China. She knows about adoption. She speaks of “China Momma” by name. And we talk about “Cleffie”…her name for bilateral cleft lip and palate that was not repaired until she was nearly three.

I wiped the tears.

It all started out of nowhere. We were naming her friends. She loves to do this.

“Mommy, I love you, Daddy, Finn, Mussie, Charlie and all my friends. I love Marlee, Izee, Aden, Addison, Sophie……..” The list went on.

Then a tear came.

“I talk different them all of them.”, she said., , It was here she buried her face into my chest and sobbed.

I had not been ready for this tonight. The dishes were not finished, eggs still sat crusting up the pan. The other children were waiting for me to read and I could hear them getting restless.,  But, it doesn’t matter if I wasn’t ready. She was and this is one reason I go by the name Momma, so that when her heart is, sad it is my, arms that stop to hold her.

She cried and I rocked her.,  We spoke of her cleft lip and palate, her progress with speech therapy, how very far she has come. We spoke of being special, unique, and inspirational. We sang and I got silly enough in my version of “Let it Go” that she smiled again and the tears stopped.

There are days when all of this is heavy.

Raising a child with baggage~ the hurt of loss, the void of information unknown, abuse, neglect, special needs that continue on~ it can be heavy to bear.

I kissed her and tucked her in. We will no doubt have this conversation again and again.,  I believe her awareness now regarding how she sounds and speaks will only assist her in her journey of speech.

Its heavy to wipe those tears.

And at the same time I am full of joy to carry it.

Her hurt is heavy, but the hope I have for her is stronger.