Today is the first day of National Adoption Awareness month and it's only because of you I'm blessed to be among those who are impacted by adoption. We both know we did not join that club altogether by choice, but here we are fully fledged members.
It's been almost a year since I told you of our plans to adopt the kids and I still remember how scared I was to let you know it was going to happen. Each time we spoke you made it very clear the kids were with me "for now". In your mind this was a temporary arrangement but my heart was stolen almost immediately and I knew this was a forever connection no matter who the kids lived with.There is hurt in that for everyone...the mother you wanted to be but could not, the mother the kids wanted but didn't get, the mother I wanted to be but could not. That pain is what drives me to be a good mother, to be the best I can possibly be. Not because I'm seeking to prove I'm better than you but because I know I can never replace you and it's a hole I'll never fully be able to fill in their hearts. If I do everything else to the best of my ability, I'll be able to say I've done right by the kids and you. The chance to be called Mom is an awesome privilege and one I'll always be grateful for.
In the months since you've passed away we have begun to learn more about you and your family. I now understand why you felt like you were providing for your kids well when it was so far off from what they needed. I'm sorry you didn't get the love and support you should have. I'm sorry you had so much taken from you at such a young age. Your family loves you very much but didn't know how to help you or themselves. I know now that in your eyes, being with your children meant more to you than your ability to provide for them. The cycle of abuse and neglect is broken for your children. They are loved and don't know what it feels like to be hungry, scared for the safety of their parents and themselves, or worry about violence. I know you wanted to be the one to give them this gift but they have it now and you are also free from pain.
The children are happy and they have started asking about you about once a week. They ask where you are and we let them know you are their angel and are resting in heaven. They have your eye shape and Little Miss has your height. Little Dude has made a full recovery from his drug exposure at birth. The incredible dimples and easy going nature of his are going to help this early life hurdle from ever getting in his way again. He's incredible and my absolute joy. Thank you for making it to the hospital in time for his birth to get the care he needed.
I know you wanted to keep Little Miss' hair long but she wanted it cut and we went last weekend for her first haircut. It was cut by her aunt at a salon just a block from the motel you lived in. I felt guilty as we drove by on our way there. Her joy in the experience would win you over I'm sure. She was a trooper and didn't shed a tear. She loved her shorter hair and wouldn't stop smiling.
You are ever present in my thoughts and I thank you every day for the gift you have given us.
Wishing you peace,