Today is Valentine's Day, and I am so blessed to have been able to spend it with the love of my life.....my Sabella. But Sabah is not the first "love of my life". Two years ago today, February 14, 2007, I was in a hotel room in Manila, holding the first love of my life, my sweet sweet Aliyah, and crying my eyes out. For it was that day, that I had to hand my "daughter" back to the people who would be taking her back to her birth mother. After spending 5 weeks, raising her, making plans for the future with her, and just LOVING her, the unimaginable happenend, and the birth mother asked for her back.
Now, I won't go into the details of the adoption, as that just isn't important, but I will say it was an independent adoption and not through an adoption agency. I sure learned my lesson and will never try an independent adoption again.
So, Valentine's day will always be a little bitter sweet for me. On this day, I celebrate not only the love that I have for my beautiful daughter Sabah, but the love I had, and still have, for the child that taught me so much about being a mother.....my sweet Aliyah Ann Maganda.....or Ali-Ann as I called her. That last day with her was so heartbreaking and yet so special at the same time. I held her as much as I could, singing to her, and whispering to her how much I loved her and how I would always remember her.
And so, to keep her memory alive, I dedicate this post to her. To keep my promise that I will never forgt her, I choose this day to celebrate her and our time we had together.
This is the letter that I wrote to her a few days after I handed her back:
My dear sweet beautiful daughter Aliyah,
Even though you were my daughter for a short short time, you will forever be my baby daughter in my heart. I will never stop loving you and for as long as I live, I will always and forever remember our precious five weeks we spent together. That five weeks with you in Manila was the highlight of my life. You taught me so much Ali. So many things that I didn't know I needed to know. The gifts you gave me are irreplaceable and for that, this whole experience has been worthwhile. While the pain of losing you is unbearable, I am so very thankful to have known you and loved you, even for a short time.
As my daughter you brought me so much joy and happiness. You gave me the knowledge of what it was like to love so unselfishly and so unconditionally, and that is the most precious gift of all. And though I miss you every single minute of every single day, I count my blessings that I have the ability and the opportunity to love you. For now I know what it is like to be a mother. You taught me how to be a mother Ali, and made me realize that being a mother is the one thing in this world that I want the most. But oh how I wish it was you that I get to be a mother to. Oh how I wish that I had you back in my arms, cradled to my chest, rocking you to sleep and singing you your songs. Oh how my heart aches...truly aches to see your beautiful smile again. To hear your sweet tender giggle. To stare into your beautiful big brown eyes. My arms are empty without you. They had gotten so use to holding you, to bathing you, to rocking you, and to cuddling next to you in the night. They are empty now,....just as my heart is empty.
I miss every single thing about you baby, and oh what I wouldn't give to have you back. Anything Ali....I would give anything. But you are not mine and I have no right to keep you from your real mommy who I know loves you just as much as I do. But know this my angel....I never wanted to let you go that day. Handing you over was the single hardest thing I've ever had to do. How my heart was breaking as I placed you in someone elses arms. How my eyes were streaming with tears as I kissed your sweet cheeks for the last time. And how my spirit died the second they walked out of the room with you as I waived goodbye.
Though you will never remember me, my wish for you is that somehow you will sense that someone out there....someone beyond the family whoe who raised you...loves you unconditionally and prays for you every night. Please know that you have a great purpose in this life and you are truly someone very special. And I hope that oneday, you will know how much happiness and purpose you brought to me.
The fact is though, you may never ever know of me, but I will never ever forget the most amazing and precious five weeks I spent in Manila with the most amazing and precious little girl. My beautiful daughter....Aliyah Ann Maganda. I love you baby. Always and Forever. Love,
Two years later, I can remember Ali with a smile and not with tears. Two years later, I finally realize that I HAD to lose Ali in order to bring Sabah into my life. I now consider my self amazingly blessed to have the TWO most amazing daughters ever. Aliyah and Sabah. I love you both my sweet babies. Always and Forever.
And finally, for anyone still reading, here are a few pics of my first Valentine.
5 years ago