I can never get her to wear her hair down lately. "It's too frizzy. It's too big," she protests as she pulls it into the pony tail she wears to school most days. Some days she gets up extra early to use the straightener. Its a painstaking process that ends in her hair returning to its natural wave before she gets to the end of the street. But she's an American teenager now and she wants to blend in.
Last night I talked her into letting me do her hair for church this morning. It took some prodding, but I guilted her into doing it as part of her birthday present. Skeptically she perched on the edge of my bed with her mane hanging before her as I carefully dried and scrunched it into what I knew her hair was meant to be. "Done?" she asked as she marched into the bathroom to examine the results. She looked at herself for a long time, turning this way and that to get a look from different angles. "Okay?" I asked. "Okay," she smiled back. Her golden brown hair spilled in beautiful spirals around her face.
Today my daughter is 14 years old. I missed the first 12 years of her life, but God has made up for it in the blessings of the two years that we've had together. I thought of her biological mother this morning and mourned that she never got to see the beautiful woman her child is growing into. Regardless of the dark beginnings of this child's life, at some point she must have been a blessing to her mother. At some point her mother must have held her close, peered into her blue eyes behind the frame of brown ringlets, and known that God blessed her with at least this one thing. Now I know that blessing too. Not many children have the opportunity to bless two mothers in their lifetime. The gift of adoption wasn't just for Kristina. It was for all of us too.