I sit on the rickety auditorium chair with the
camcorder on my shoulder and I can feel the tears
well up in my eyes. My six-year-old daughter is on stage, calm,self-
possessed, centered and singing her heart out. I am
nervous, jittery and emotional. I trying not to cry.
"Listen, can you hear the sound, hearts beating
all the world around?" she sings.
The lovely face turned up to the light, little round face so dear and familiar and yet so unlike my own
thin features. Her eyes - eyes so different from mine -
look out into the audience with total trust. She knows they love her.
"Up in the valley, out on the plains, everywhere
around the world, heartbeats sound the same."
The face of her birth mother looks out at me
from the stage. The eyes of a young woman that once looked
into mine with trust now gaze into the audience. These features
my daughter inherited from her birth mother - eyes that
tilt up at the corners, and rosy, plump little cheeks that I
can't stop kissing.
"Black or white, red or tan, it's the heart of
the family of man...oh, oh beating away, oh, oh beating
away," she finishes. The audience goes wild. I do, too. Thunderous
applause fills the room. We rise as one to let Melanie know we
loved it. She smiles; she already knew.
Now I am crying. I feel so
blessed to be her mom. She fills me with so much joy
that my heart actually hurts.
The heart of the family of man...the heart of
courage that shows us the path to take when we are lost...the
heart that makes strangers one with each other for a common
purpose: this is the heart Melanie's birth mother
showed to me.
From deep inside the safest part of herself,
Melanie heard her birth mother. This heart of courage because
of her commitment to unconditional love. She was a woman who
embraced the concept that she could give her child
something no one else ever could: a better life than she had.
Melanie's heart beats close to mine as I hold
her and tell her how great she performed. She wiggles in my
arms and looks up at me. "Why are you crying, Mommy?"
I answer her, "Because I am so happy for you and
you did so well, all by yourself!"
I can feel myself
reach out and hold her with more than just my arms. I hold her
with love for not only myself, but for the beautiful and
courageous woman who chose to give birth to my
daughter, and then chose again to give her to me. I carry the love
from both of us...the birth mother with the courage to
share, and the woman whose empty arms were filled with
love...for the heartbeat that we share is one.
Source: Patty Hansen