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Dear Lily,

Today is your third birthday. I hope you are celebrating somewhere with people who love and care for you. I hope you are happy and healthy. I hope that your natural mother and all members of your biological family, both maternal and paternal, are also well under the circumstances of so much loss.

The year has gone quick for me. It has been a difficult one, filled with many health challenges. Even the ostensibly enjoyable stuff, like building a new home, created more stress than joy. I have written little, and obviously, nothing here since your last birthday.

I think of you often. I notice all things relating to adoption. I stare too long at the faces of little girls around your age. Perhaps we've eaten near each other in a restaurant somewhere? Is it possible you have played beside our Sara, now age five, at a local park? You are probably far away from here. Where are you?

I have received a handful of comments and some emails from my readers--most ask when I'll be finishing the story here. I am struggling with this. I do intend to finish writing "Where's Baby Lily, Mommy?" The question is whether I will continue blogging it here, or continue privately, in hope of ultimately reaching a wider audience through a more traditional book. 

I attended a writers' conference earlier this year. Many suggested that this story could indeed be a book, but that publishers are not likely to print something already online. So, I have suspended further posts. But I miss the online community here; I'm not quite sure how I will proceed.

Please say a prayer for "Lily" tonight. Her story, though she had no voice, is an important one. I hope to find the right path toward telling it fully. Each narrative, each story that helps illuminate the unethical practice of adoption in this country, is worth sharing. The challenge is how to bring these stories, mostly consumed by the minority of us online here, to the mainstream culture. The challenge is transforming the cultural schema of adoption or, at the very least, making room for new voices. 

Story by story; word by word. 

Happy Birthday "Lily."

Wishing you much love,