My daughter is simply the bravest person I have ever known. Her current health scare has only confirmed what I first saw in my earliest days with her; I have been in awe of her ever since.

I first met Megan Xiaomei (“Sh-ow-may”), now 15, when she was two. In an amazing 46 hour period, I went from the airport gate in Wichita, Kansas, to a dingy hotel room in remote northwest China, where the orphanage director had deposited my new toddler daughter and left. She didn’t cry. They had clearly prepared her as best they could, as she recognized me from photos we had sent them. She played happily with the toys we brought until bath time, when she finally broke down. We had been told to expect that, as Chinese children aren’t accustomed to immersion baths. She slept reasonably well that first night.

As I have watched her adjust to a new life, grow, and struggle with the challenges of childhood, I remain amazed at the quiet strength and resilience she displays. She has her own, unique view on the world…not distorted, but somehow protective of her strong sense of well-being. How I have wished for a piece of that for myself at times.

My daughter is thoughtful and kind, also traits we have seen since the day we met her. I have believed from the beginning that she has some special purpose here. I may never know what it is, but I am sure of it just the same. I only know that she has made me a better person for being her mother. As she has worked through this latest significant challenge, she has been the bravest of us all. I admire her in addition to loving her. My prayer to God in the middle of this is simply for the help and the strength to be the mother that this amazing person deserves; that is gift enough.

“We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.” –Helen Keller


About Kelly J. McCleary

Wife and mother of three, author, financial professional View all posts by Kelly J. McCleary

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