Twenty Reasons: Nineteen

It’s funny how you can miss somebody you’ve never met.

I was just looking through some of Pearl’s photos on my computer, and the distance between us felt so huge. I know that she just wants to be with us. And we just want to be with her.

I study her pictures like I studied my newborn babies when they were placed in my arms — I know the curve of her ears, the exact brown of her eyes, the contour of her hairline, the shape of her pretty little toes. Is that weird? I don’t know. I’d like to think every adoptive parent has done the same; lingered over photographs, wanting nothing more than to jump into the picture, scoop up that child and plant a big ol’ kiss right in the middle of her forehead!

And never let go….

One thing I noticed again is that, in several of her pictures, it looks like she is about to burst with happiness. She looks like she is trying to suppress the most brilliant joy, and that she would release it into a huge burst of laughter if only they weren’t telling her to be proper and reserved for the photographer.

That expression is the 19th item on this list of things I love about her. That she could smile that deeply despite her circumstances — it’s proof of her nearly irrepressible hope of better things to come. It’s a beautiful thing to behold, and I thank God that my family gets to be the one that welcomes that joy into our midst.

And it’s funny that as I typed that last sentence, I felt that same kind of smile spreading across my own face.

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