Her joy is infectious.
And so precious to me.
Since I know how many surgeries she will likely face in her young life, and since I know that her difficult beginnings will someday come back to haunt her, it's a bit of a futile wish...but I always wish that she will not have to feel pain, that she will never get shy, and that joy will always surround her.
We are a sybaritic family, and so food is always an important and pleasurable part of our lives. Whenever we make a chicken, my husband saves the wishbone on a small sill over the sink. When it's dry, we always split it, and make our wishes.
I always win the larger side, but it hardly matters, since I know for sure that we both have the same wish (even though we've never spoken it aloud):
Love, health and happiness for all three of us, for as long as we all shall live.
Although I know that I can't save her from all suffering, I also know that one can live with suffering, and still live with a joyful and lucky life.
After all, my greatest wish was as a child was not to suffer the cancer that my mother suffered from. And yet, that's exactly what befell me.
What I learned from that experience was that the worst thing you can think of can happen to you, and yet it can turn out to be your greatest gift. You can go on to live a life greater than your wildest dreams, in spite of that worst thing happening to you.
Of course, I would like to shield her from anything painful ever happening to her. And yet, that is probably not the best wish I could make for her.
Instead, I'll wish her whatever might fall in her path, good or bad, painful or otherwise.
Her joy in life is its own reward, and is not contingent on any lack of suffering.
After all, she has already suffered worse than many of us can imagine.
At three days of age (more or less) she suffered the loss of her birth parents. Who can imagine such a loss? She was left out on the street in an unknown world, with no concept of what might befall her from that moment on.
She spent nearly a year in an institution before we were able to travel to her. She had no choice in the matter of who would choose to be her parents, or where in the world she would end up.
And yet, her joy has infused every moment of our lives together.
So I suppose what I wish for her, on this first morning of the new year, is not an absence of suffering, but rather...resilence. The ability to remain happy and strong throughout whatever life throws at her.
Happy New Year, my daughter, my love.
May your world be ever unpredictable, and may your heart remain ever strong.