I have debated about NOT writing this post. In fact, I was not going to. There are parts of Felicity’s story that are hers and should only be hers. So, when this urge to write my thoughts and feelings about March 7th came, I dismissed the desire and call to write and was silent. But, after watching The Drop Box for the second time last night, I knew I needed to write about the day Felicity was abandoned. Maybe more for myself, so I can sort through the emotions that came up so someday I may share with her more clearly when the questions come . . . .
Felicity’s birthday was March 4th and we celebrated BIG, just as planned. I hope she felt special, and loved and honored. She opened presents, went to mass, had a fun journey downtown and ate cake. It was a perfect day. But, I must admit, as the day drew to a close, I began to get sad. We had just celebrated her birth and in days, we would be upon the anniversary of her being abandoned.
It happened on March 7th. The Feast of St Felicity and St Perpetua. She is named for that day. Named Felicity because it means joy and because I know God and His angels were watching over this special girl on that special Feast day. Yet, the night of her birthday Pete and I were talking about that day. And we wondered out loud: what were we thinking naming her Felicity? Her feast day will always be marked by the sadness and the pain of the day she was abandoned.
There is no gentle way to say this, to make it easier to say, easier to hear.
On March 7th, 2 years ago, our daughter became an orphan. She was left, just three days old. Alone. Abandoned. On the sidewalk, next to the gate of the orphanage. There is a baby hatch there, similar in concept to the one in the Drop Box, but it is only opened when someone is manning it. It wasn’t that day. She was left next to it.
Her life forever changed. Her brain chemistry forever altered.
And I do not know how to feel about that day. My heart aches when I think about it. Think about her, alone, on a sidewalk. How long was she alone before she was found? She could have died.
Yet, she was . . .
Through God’s grace, through His will. She was FOUND. Saved. And she sits happily playing in my lap right now.
I woke up March 7th and the first thing I did was open the weather app on my phone. I still have her city listed on the weather app.
Oh, good. Not too cold. She was found in the afternoon. The warmest part of the day. I have searched for the temperature of the city she was found in for March 7, 2013 before, but could never find it. Knowing this year’s temperature that day was the best I could do. And it left me with some comfort.
Felicity woke up about a half hour later. And as she jumped into my arms, I just held her for a long time and prayed for her. As she went to bed that night, I prayed for her birth mom and father. While we do not know the circumstances of her birth, I know that this day must be hard for them no matter what.
If this post seems disjointed, it is because my own thoughts are disjointed right now. When I pray about March 7th the words; orphan, alone, abandoned swirl through my head. But, the word FOUND drowns out those words.
I think we were meant to call her Felicity. Meant to make March 7th holy for her. Because she was FOUND.
What a perfect time to go through this journey; in the middle of Lent. It, in a way, is a small reflection of Good Friday. How hard that day. Do I really want to look at or experience the emotions of that day when I truly reflect on the sufferings of Christ that day? After all he was alone. Abandoned by many of His followers. I had seen The Passion of the Christ when it came out in the movie theaters. I proclaimed that we should watch it every year during Lent. Yet, I have only watched it once since that day in the theater. My reason? It is HARD to watch. So often we clean up the suffering Christ went through. Because it is really too hard to bear. But, it was in that Good Friday that WE were FOUND. Our redemption came through that hard day.
And so, I am learning to look at March 7th as a sort of Good Friday. A day of much pain and suffering. But a day of redemption. A day of hope.One day I hope to have this figured out a bit more, so that I can help Felicity journey through the good and the hard and the beautiful of March 7th when she herself is struggling with that day. Until then, I entrust it all to God’s infinite wisdom and goodness and praise Him for redemption. Felicity’s and mine.