Happy 2011!
 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.


hila said...

happy new year! I hope it's as good as this new year post.

rosanguyen said...

I think Q will be eternally grateful that you are her mother :)

Happy New Year :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful thoughts, A Happy New Year to you all.

Yoli said...

Rushing out the door but had to stop here first. Beautiful words Maia. It is all we can wish for our children, the ability to find hope even in adversity. I think our children's resilience is extraordinary after so much loss. Q has always proved joyful and strong and you both have encouraged that strength. I think with your gentleness and love she will have enough reservoir to journey through life.

Happy New Year!

Kaylovesvintage said...

wishing you a spakling 2011
you little girl is so cute,love the dress

uma said...

Beautiful post! You have put in words exactly what I wish for my recently born baby...
Happy new year for the three of you!

Yanyan said...

There is so much love, so much love in this post. I am so deeply touched... those pictures are pure and joyful. dear Maia, Mike and Qiu Qiu, thank you for sharing all these and letting me be part of your world. You are wonderful and 2011 will be another fabulous year for you three! Hugs.

kenza said...

Your words are so moving, passionate, gentle, loving, tender, wonderful. Thank you for sharing your dreams and your love for this lovely Q and life.

Justine said...

Q is surrounded with so much love and you're such a wonderful mum, I'm sure she will have a great life and will know where to find joy and strengh even in the tough moments thanks to you
Happy New Year!!

Lula said...

This is the sweetest post I've read in a long time! I haven't followed you blog long enough to know what kind of surgeries your daughter needs, all I know is that she really is a beauty! And like you said, her joy IS infectious. She looks like an angel and I wish your family all the best; you kind people deserve it!
Your 215th follower.

ps: Happy New Year!

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Thank you for the sweet words, Lula, and thanks for joining us! Q was born with a severe cleft lip and palate. She has had two major surgeries, and will have many more. And yes, she is beauty, inside and out.

Christiane said...

Beaucoup d'émotion avec tes mots ce soir et il est bon de les avoir écrits, pour elle, pour vous, votre histoire est émouvante et magnifique. Je vous envoie mes meilleurs voeux. Q est si belle!

Ty's Parents said...

As always, so beautifuly written. Your way with words captivates my desires too for my little ones, only I have not been given the writing gift. Love, happiness and health to your family this year and always! The "health" part takes on a whole new meaning for our family this year.

susanna said...

This is a beautifully written post, Maia, and one filled to the brim with love. Your daughter really is a light in this world, isn't she? I'm so glad that the three of you found one another. Having reunited with my own birth mother, I've discovered that some things (not all) are meant to be. I was not one to believe that before. I also believe that the spirits of loved ones live on in some form or another and check in on us from time to time. I can only imagine how happy Maia's birth parents are seeing their daughter so loved and enjoying her life. Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family, Maia.

Jeanne-ming said...

Bawling my eyes out!

Yes Yes Yes and AMen!

Bundles of kisses, hugs and happy wishes from HangZhou

FDChief said...

What a lovely New Year and Valentine all in one, Maia. May your words fly up like prayers and tilt the universe on its axis to make them true.

And may you three all enjoy the best in the coming year.

Guusje said...

♥ your thoughts♥

Gigi said...

I love this post so much. Resilience is one of the greatest gifts of all, and with you for a mom, I think Q will have loads and loads.

Wishing all three of you a very happy and healthy new year full of adventures and new discoveries!

xo Gigi

Geisslein said...

your posts often bring me to filled with love, so endless beautiful your words!
I wish you ALL THE BEST for 2011!

Michele said...

As you well know Q is an extraordinary child and she will indeed enjoy much joy in her life. It is who she is...a happy spirit.