As I held her warm little body next to mine I felt like a slideshow of her life kept playing in my mind. In so many ways she just feels like home now. Like she has always been here, my little piggy-tailed shadow in sparkly red dress-up shoes. But last night I was reminded that not so long ago, she slept alone. What happened there when she would cry? Did anyone notice? Did anyone help? She is a child whose cries do not taper off. I am not kidding you, if her pillow is not "just right" her cries will build until, and only until if is fluffed to her satisfaction.
It is night's like last night where I can almost feel the empty spot in her heart...the spot where she had to do without for two long years. I feel so helpless in those moments. What in the world can fill up those years of lack? So I held her and patted her back whispering over and over, "I love you, Daddy loves you, we are a family for always no matter what..." really anything that I could think of, over and over again. And as I spoke, I prayed...it may sound strange but I picture that empty spot and as I pray, I set it in God's hands and I ask Him to fill it up.
I wish with all of my heart that my words and my love alone were enough to fill it, that my kisses and hugs would erase any pain and lack in her little life. But I know that I cannot go back and take that time away, so I place it in the hands of the One who has healed so many of my wounds even as I weep for those in my daughter.
Finally at 4:30 when I once again laid her in her bed, she placed her chubby little hands on my cheeks and I rested my forehead on hers saying over and over again, "I love you, I love you, I love you"...and she closed her eyes and fell asleep.