I loaded the dishwasher today as Carina kept her little finger busy with playdough. As often happens when she is playing alone, she occasionally lapsed into her imagination and uttered a few of her thoughts aloud. I heard her say, “This is me, and this is_______, and this is _______” using her sister’s names. I looked over at the little friends she had made in bright orange and tears came to my eyes.
I often wonder what Carina must think about her sisters. She has heard about them for a over year, probably the only year of her life she remembers. She will point to the clothes I have bought and laid aside for the day they will join us and tell me who they belong to. Carina has seen little toys, shoes, and necklaces mailed off, and she solemnly nods her head and tells me, “Those are for my sisters.”
I wonder if her sisters are like Santa Claus to her. She has perfect faith that they exist and that someday they will come, but they hold a mystery that she doesn’t even want to question.
It is hard not to feel like the information I am feeding her is as much a myth as Santa Claus. Some days I feel the full weight of the reality of our situation – that we have two daughters thousands of miles away whose health and happiness we have little to no impact on, two little girls who have personalities and smiles that will someday bloom before our eyes, but we have no idea when. The weight of that reality is just too heavy to carry every day. It is paralyzing.
Many days I make a deliberate choice not to embrace that reality. I let their faces remain a little blurry in my head and I let the mystery of their homecoming glide across my consciousness like a water-bug skims across a lake.
It might not be the perfect choice but I am learning how imperfect many of my choices have to be in such a flawed situation.