01 August 2008

my african daughter - blogging baby burkholder

I am a believer. I believe that there is purpose and wisdom in every step of this life. I believe that great tragedies and triumphs both produce greater awareness and connectedness to the Source. And I believe that when everything lines up just right, I can be the beneficiary of the good designed to bring added weight to that Source. Confused? Let me explain.

When I found out last week that we were going to have a girl, I felt very small. And very thankful.

You see, I miss my sweet little African “daughter” so much. We talk about her (and talk like her) every day. She was such a force of hope and light in my life. I remember holding her little chocolate hand in mine as we walked to buy her some “mazimba” (chips) at the shop. I remember putting her on my lap and teaching her how to do addition using her “flinglers” and the way that her eyes searched mine for approval and praise when she would do well with the task I gave her. I remember the day that we got her tested for HIV, the tremors that shook through my body as I imagined the results, and the unaware little smile that she wore after the test. We ate KFC that day. We hoped for good results and decided that life was too precious to waste worrying about what we could not change.

I think about her often, my African daughter.

I can’t even begin to describe how blessed I felt when it was revealed that God was growing a little girl in Stefani’s womb. I would again have a daughter. I would again have a little hand to hold, little eyes to reassure, and a little smile to treasure forever. My little girl will not replace what I miss so dearly in Africa, for there can be no replacement for a unique creation of heaven. My little girl will be more of a reminder, a link to a part of me that lives in Johannesburg, in the glimmering eyes of a hopeful, silly, and perfectly healthy angel.

My African daughter is HIV-negative, along with her brother, Baby Kyle. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.

It is things like this that make me a believer. In hope...in redemption...in the Source.

I believe that if everything lines up just right, one day my two daughters will meet in person. And I’ll be there crying and smiling, the happiest father on earth.

(In the top photo, she is letting the bubbles from a Coke tickle her face. Only a child would notice such a pleasure. Precious.)