To have someone. To know that you will not be alone. To clench tightly to another’s hand, because sometimes we can’t stand on our own. We all need a “someone”.
Today I was given an amazing opportunity. An incredible gift. Something that I would have never expected just a few years ago.
But now? After how my story has been written and shaped over the last several years, this was the chance of a lifetime…a gift of a day I had been waiting for. Hoping for. Without even knowing how deeply I desired it.
Today I sat in the waiting room of a Chinese hospital; in the pediatric surgical ward. I was waiting for a little baby girl, an orphan with no family to call her own. Waiting as she underwent her first major open-heart surgery, earning her beautiful brave scar of courage.
Today, I was her someone. Praying for her surgeons, her nurses, and her strength through the long hours of the operation. Today I sat. Hoping. Waiting. Jumping at the sight of any doctor or nurse, expectant for the news I so desperately wanted to hear. “It’s done. Finished. She’ll be moved to recovery soon. It went as well as we could have hoped.”
Today, she is still an orphan. But today, she was not alone.
Today, she was mine. And I was hers. And the gift of being the “someone” to stand, with her and for her, is one I will treasure for the rest of my days.
Because, you see, just a short time ago, my little Brooke’s story mirrored this one. A precious little girl. Newly orphaned, with severe heart disease. Going into her first open-heart surgery in a Chinese hospital. An event and circumstance where by all intents and purposes, she could have been alone. She should have been alone.
Except she wasn’t.
She also had a “someone”. Someone who loved her, waited expectantly for her, and prayed her through those long hours and days. And that someone has given me a gift that can never be repaid. Because though I wish desperately that I HAD been there…to be the one to love her through, snuggle her tight, obsessively check every monitor alarm, oxygen sat, and medication dosage…there was someone there who loved her for me. Someone who took my place, prayed for her for the long hours of surgery, and was there by her side when it was done. And that is a gift more priceless than breath itself. She was loved. She was hoped for. And she was never alone.
I hadn’t truly grasped the magnitude of this until I found myself blinking back tears, sitting there in that metal chair next to a couple of other staff from her orphanage, amidst other parents and children in that crowded, sterile waiting room. Hearts racing with theirs as we waited for news about “our” children. Because at that moment, it didn’t matter that I had no biological claim to this child. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t understand exactly what was being said in the chatter of the Chinese parents filling the room around me.
All that mattered was that when it was her turn to be wheeled out through the operating room doors, someone was there to jump up for her. To exclaim over her newly pink fingernails, whisper that she was loved, and follow the team of doctors as far as my eyes could see as she was wheeled into recovery.
She had someone. My Brooke had someone. And today, I had someone as well. Today, I had her. And the gift of being her “someone” in return, if only for today, is one that will never, ever be forgotten. Be thankful for the someones in your life. Don’t ever take them for granted. They are a gift more precious than gold.
Grow well, little one. Be strong and courageous. Wear your brave scar with pride. You are hoped for, waited for, and not forgotten. You are loved.