We don't have a daughter, and the closest thing I've got to a daughter is my brother's daughter, Sharlet, who I don't know at all.
It is the price for living so far away. I met her when she was born last year, but she was a just a sleeping bundle then. When I look at these pictures (stolen off of my sister-in-law's facebook album) I have a hard time swallowing the lump in my throat. Sometimes I just break down and cry. Sharlet represents all that I am missing back in America. She is the fastest-changing thing that we left behind, and watching her grow up in pictures is like watching an hour glass that has been turned over. She looks, by the way, exactly like my mother. I wonder what it would be like to kiss her perfect little cheek. I wonder what she smells like after a bath. The hardest part is, she doesn't know me, either.
There is no way to stay close to home and go out into the world at the same time. And there is no perfect time to go out into to the world. If we had waited until our kids were out of the house, we would be missing their college years and early carrier lives. If we waited further we would be missing our grandkids. If we waited longer than that, we would be dead. I have to remind myself of that when I start thinking, "Why did we come during everyone's child-bearing years? We are missing their kids, and they are missing ours."
But all things gained were gained at a cost. He knew that 2000 years ago when he paid the ultimate price, because we were worth it to him. And He is worth it to me.