I watched as my nine-year-old climbed the steps of our church to stand beside the piano. Her gifted voice raised in praise with a handful of other singers. The smile on her face was radiant. My heart swelled with motherly pride as waves of memories washed across my mind.
"Come to Mama!" I would beckon, stretching out my hands to her. Her 18-month-old face would take on a puzzled expression. Where has Mama gone? she must have been thinking as her eyes searched the emptiness behind me. Uncertainty marked every step and every action. Her world had crashed. Again.
What she didn't understand was that I had become her new mama. After a series of mamas had come and gone in her short little life, I had signed the papers and accepted the role of "forever mama" for her and her two sisters. Our home was her home. Our family had become her family. Forever.
And now I sat in a pew marveling at the confidence that exuded from her smile. Midway through the song, she glanced in my direction. Our eyes met. Our smiles reflected the bond that has grown over the ensuing seven-and-a-half years.
When the song ended, Maya bounced down the aisle towards me, her curls swinging behind her. Snuggling into the pew next to me, she basked in the showers of praise and love that poured from my heart. "Thanks, Mom," she whispered. My voice caught in my throat. She is my daughter and I am her mama. She is secure in my love. Thank you, Jesus, for this miracle in my arms. I whispered silently.
And thank You for the miracle who will be joining our family soon from Ukraine...