Monday, September 8, 2014

before she lost her hair...

It was about this age, when Caroline was Jameson's current age (21 months), that Marc and I began discovering hair mysteriously appearing in Caroline's crib, on her pacifier, and in the bath tub.   I guess that's got me thinking back to how it all happened and reflecting upon how much things have changed.

At the time, we didn't know what to think.

We didn't know what it meant.

We certainly never envisioned that ten months later, our daughter would be completely bald and face the likelihood of a lifetime without hair.

We had never even heard the word "alopecia."

"Oh, you don't want that," my sister explained to me over the phone the night our suspicions were raised.  Moments before, she had called a nurse practitioner friend to help us unlock this new hairloss mystery.  "I'm sure it's not alopecia, Amy, but you need to go and get her checked out right away."

Of course, we know the rest of the story.
It's surreal to look at these final pictures I took of Caroline the month before alopecia entered our world.

It's like another LIFETIME ago.

It's amazing how much can change in just a few short years.

And it's amazing how much we can change in a few short years.
 Not only is Caroline a completely different person from it, but I most certainly am, too.

Before alopecia, I foolishly didn't know how much value I was placing upon outward beauty.  

I didn't realize my deep-seeded desires to be like everyone else.  
To be accepted, admired, and liked.

Before alopecia, I was unknowingly a slave to my own perfectionism, striving to keep up appearances.

 And then,

with something as simple and bizarre as losing HAIR,

it was all taken away from me.

Suddenly, I had to die to the idol of looking like we had it "together."  Because we didn't.

I, the new adoptive mama, couldn't keep HAIR on my child's HEAD.

(How's that for feeling like a failure?  There's a good ol' strike to the perfectionism.)

I had to die to the dream that there'd be no pony tails, no ribbons or bows in her future.  No one would "ooo" and "aaaw" over my child's hair like they did for all the other cute little girls her age.

That may seem so superficial from the outside, but until you've watched your own daughter transform into what looks like a cancer patient before your very eyes, you may never know what an idol your daughter's femininity is to you until it's taken away.

You might think Caroline and I 
looked "better" before alopecia came into our lives,
but nothing could be farther from the truth.

Because of alopecia, we now see things so differently.  
We see people differently.  
We see beauty in a different, deeper sense.
And we know there are far more important things in life than having hair. 

I wouldn't wish for alopecia, but in many ways, 
I'm thankful for it.
God was gracious to give it to us.

It may have taken away her hair,

but looking back, it has given both of us so, so much more.

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