Today this post is not about design, but about the significance of a very special date-June 15th, which will be forever considered “the best day of our lives.” Over the weekend we celebrated the year that marks the time our daughter has been with us. As some of you know we adopted an adorable six year old from foster care. The details of her life before she came to live with us, I hope fades with time, and are replaced with happy memories, the kind that come from being a part of a family. The kind that a child should have, not the ones you wish they never did. She is brave, and has more courage then I ever had, or ever will. Her young life has been full of change, different homes, schools, uncertainty. There are times where I have held her for hours as she succumbed to the memories that I know haunt her. I hold her tight while the tears flow, and provide her with a safe haven that only a mother’s loving embrace can. A love that her life has been devoid of until she found her way to us. It has been a year full of laughter, tears, heartbreak and breakthroughs. Last week was the first time she told me she “loved me,” although we tell her often. It was a moment that simply took my breath away…
Now the walls are slowing coming down…
She has experienced so much in the past year, feeling the ocean breeze on her skin for the very first time, and the warmth of the sand between her toes. She went to Disneyworld, and to her it truly was the greatest place on earth, we are building those family memories that she never experienced in her young life. Her room is filled with momentos of places we’ve traveled, fun times, and photos of those special moments that she can share with her children someday. Her life is being rewritten, with a story that now has a “happily ever after.” Each day I watch this flower bloom, she is beginning the journey of becoming all that she was destined to be. As with many children in foster care they are branded by misconceptions, and have to deal with daily injustices coupled with the lack of hope that they will ever succeed in life. That will never be her life now, and she is thriving. Her world is opening up, and we can give her the childhood that so many in the system sadly will never experience. Our daughter is so very special, she is brave and a fighter. She is smart, funny and has proven to herself and others that you can achieve anything if you only believe. She has an incredible kindness that rivals that of Mother Theresa. A true heart of gold, and would move any little creature out of harms way or stop to help the less fortunate. She has changed our lives, and opened my eyes to what is important, and who is important. Mr. B. and I talked last night about what a gift we have been given, she has brought us such incredible joy. One of my favorite moments is when my husband comes home, and she runs into his arms, and I see his face just melt with unconditional love.
I’ll never share the details of her story, although sadly I have found that people are more curious than concerned, and have even asked her why she was in foster care. Those moments are heartbreaking, because no one should ever ask a 6 year old to explain a past they are trying to forget. There have been more than a few times that the wrath of my ”Momma Bear” instinct has shamed people into silence. I tell her that her past life story is hers, and only she can chose how to write it. But, the story of her future will be the greatest one ever written.
I wrote this in hope that it may touch a few hearts to actually consider fostering children, or adopting from the foster care system. There are so many children that need love, and a place to call home. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s one that is life changing. To give a child a chance to become all they were meant to be will be the greatest of gifts. I want to thank our incredible friends, those who give her unconditional love and acceptance. I have met the most incredible people over the last year, who have reached out to us to offer support. Mostly, I want to thank Ashley Anderson, at www.safft.org, without you we would not have this incredibly precious gift. You are a tireless crusader for the children in the foster care system, and you have given so many children a safe haven. We love you.
I wanted to share a few pictures of our journey, and if you are considering fostering or adopting and have questions please feel free to convo me @ firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be more than happy to share our journey.
Her first week with us a year ago, and a visit to the Sunflower Farm…
The first day at a beach, playing in the sand…making her mark on the world.
Photo/Vicki Gladle Bolick
“She may be small but she is fierce.” On Ellie, her trusty steed, she didn’t want to ride a pony, but a ”real” horse…she took the reins and within weeks was posting at a trot without a lead-line. This is the way she approaches life, facing any challenge without fear.
Photo/Courtesy of Michele Poole Photography
Our first Christmas together as a family….happy smiles all around, and “perma-grins” were on our faces for the entire month of December.
A year later, and the face of pure happiness.This is what love looks like.
Please support your local foster care programs. Every child deserves a chance.