This I Believe

Rosa - Fort Lauderale, Florida
Entered on September 18, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I Believe.

I believe in my daughter’s future. Luz María was sold before birth by her mother, a woman cornered by poverty, by HIV/AIDS, desperation beyond anything I could even begin to fathom. The purchaser changed her mind and this precious gift, a tiny little light, was cast aside. She had too many counts against her: a club foot, a positive test for HIV at birth, the grinding poverty of so many in México. Forgotten in a hospice for children dying of AIDS, this, Lucerito, this Little Light of Mine, whose test was a false positive, refused to dim. She charmed, she beguiled, she insisted on living.

By a series of grace-filled coincidences, she found us as surely as we found her: It began with a call from my friend Mary, who was traveling to Mexico and wanted to know if she could bring me anything. I heard words fly out of my mouth that I had not even imagined saying seconds before: “Ay Mary, bring me a little girl.” Two weeks later, I was in Mexico meeting a girl child, three years old, with luminous black eyes, and a kiss for a mouth, full of mischief and music. It took us two years of small steps forward and fearsome setbacks. For months, a judge in Mexico refused to allow a child “so damaged” to be released for adoption. The day we finally got the green light from him we also found out that my husband had prostate cancer. But the darkness did not overcome the light and in March of 2001, we brought Luz María home.

There have been moments in these past 6 years far darker than the days of waiting for her. On paper, her psychological diagnoses make her seem more a monster than the miracle she is in our lives. Each time my daughter sees 2 + 3, she sees it for the first time and we start over on the simple principles of addition. I have had to make my peace with things that she cannot and probably will not ever accomplish.

But I believe in my daughter’s future because, with each passing day, she is showing us more and more about her capacity to love. It’s in the small things: she likes nothing more than to sit on our couch, her arms companionably entwined with ours, watching a movie. I felt her love as she ever so gently helped me raise my leg onto my bed, earlier this summer when I was frail and in pain, recovering from hip surgery. Love has been added to immense courage. She takes more risks at school, allowing herself the frustrations and rewards of trying to learn. I see glimpses of the magnificent young woman she will soon be.

Yes, I believe in my daughter’s future, and I am awed by the miracle unfolding before my eyes.