So there's this special someone who has stolen my heart even though I wasn't sure it would be possible given all the background story aka drama, nightmare, pain, anger, hurt, loss, despair, etc. When they look at me, I can't help it though--my heart melts and I find myself wishing things were different. Your smile, your laugh, your efforts to wink back at me are just beyond precious and adorable. You don't know who I am really but it's not your fault. You hold a special place in my heart even though others would not want us to have any connection whatsoever. You, my dear, are a sweet, innocent child of God and my niece, Sophia Grace.
It's a miracle of God's grace that I can look at you and not feel the pain of betrayal as fresh as if it was yesterday's news. I know you'll be the reason my sister and I will one day have restoration of our sisterly bond and friendship. Despite what your parents say/want, you will grow up knowing I love you and want to spoil you rotten just like I would if you were my own. One day, you will get to decide if you want to have anything to do with me or not. The choice in who you love is yours, just as it has been mine. Sweet Sophia, loving you has meant forgiving them. I enjoy watching you grow up from a distance--through posts on Facebook, text messages from other family members, and the occasional family dinner where I get to talk to you even though your mommy won't let me be a real hands-on aunt.
I'm excited that you're about to have your very first birthday party and sad that I won't get to be there to watch you open your presents with your new favorite word "see" on repeat as you point and show off all the new things you're bound to get. I can't wait to see all the pictures of your smiling face covered in cake and hear the stories of how you celebrated God's goodness despite the badness that occurred. I'm not even sure that's a word - badness, but it fits. You are a delight to me even if I can't really love on you like I want to little miss frog princess. Air kisses just aren't the same as stealing your sugar and playing peek-a-boo.
I look at you and realize in loving you, I have forgiven them really and truly...I still don't like what happened, but I can't hold myself in spiritual prison by not forgiving them. Your mommy is my sister after all and was my best friend before your daddy came between us. Your daddy and I were together for a season but nothing good came of it. In fact, quite the opposite--violence, abuse of every kind, criminal behavior, financial woes, miscarriage and a broken heart when I found out that despite everything I had been willing to subject myself to in staying with him, he had been cheating on me with my sister. He really is lost and I pray for him. I feel bad for your mommy because I know what it's like to feel trapped and out of control, no longer yourself, but not sure what to do to change the situation that you willingly allowed to happen. I pray for her too. Most of all, I pray for you, that you will grow up protected from the evil of this world and know that you are loved more than words can describe.
Just a few more days and you'll be a whole year old and I know it's another year closer to when my sweet niece can think for herself and decide if you want to spend time with Auntie 'issa. My heart is open and so my door will always be for you as well, Sophia Grace. Psalm 139
Love and prayers,