Always and in so many ways, we love you.
Through the remarkably challenging stuff and each heart warming moment, I think of you and I love you. In struggle and in triumph, her dad and I stick to the promises we made with you, six years.
When Seeley notices her remarkable hair, she thanks you.
When she finds an eyelash and doesn’t want to wish for a pet jellyfish, she sends you her extras.
When she falls, landing on her "big biscuits", she screams thank you into the sky as if the spirit of her words mixes with the wind and the feeling is carried directly to your heart.
We do many things like this, and it is my wish for you to feel each bit of the magical juju flowing your way.
We will always have rituals in our love for you. As I said, always and in so many ways, we love you.
Recently, this beautiful girl of ours turned six.
At the time, I was struck by the sixth anniversary of the biggest day of my life. 2,192 days prior, you made me a mom. At the very same time, you made Billy a dad.
Most parents think of the birth and the coming home journey on their kids’ birthdays, and in many ways, I am no different.
But girl, you know as well as I do, ours was different.
At 2:34am, you gave birth to the most glorious baby girl.
At 2:35am, February 3rd, in St. Paul, Minnesota, you looked me in the eyes and let me hold my daughter, first. What an honor!
At 2:38am, as I held her, and squeezed your hand, I know you felt every promise pass through my heart into yours.
Then, we trusted.
By 4:30am, we were in separate rooms. You would spend the next 26 hours in recovery, like that was going to do it. And, I would try and keep my heart from exploding love loudly to anyone in the surrounding area.
Billy and I were watching her tiny chest raise and lower as she was sleeping. We were holding her close, kissing her and gazing at her every feature.
This is the moment, my heart began to soar. I knew there would be no getting it back. I prayed, this time, our adoption would stick and we would be forever FlanaVille, party of three.
We tried out our new mom and dad titles and basked in the feelings of being a complete family for the first time in our lives.
At the very same time, you were across the hall, healing from so much.
Our special and shared love takes unconditional to new heights. We developed a deeply respectful, wildly open relationship. One of the most cherished and raw relationships of my life.
At the time, and over the years since, I have felt like we did a really remarkable job. We honored one another as best as possible, but I have thought about your view and experience.
I hope you found comfort in hearing sweet sounds of jubilee as our siblings met their most precious niece.
I hope it was heart warming to see our glow. I wish you could know it’s still here.
When her eyes close, lashes softly on her cheeks and she is still, I think of you.
When she is fueled by endless energy, I remember you telling me she was going to come out running because she was kicking at all hours, day after day.
Premonition confirmed girl, she is all of those things.
When she is being a strong willed hellcat, I think of you.
As I am trying harder now than I ever have before, I think of you and the promise I made you.
I think of you. I want you to know you are loved, appreciated and cherished, unconditionally as always.
Sometimes in her hardest moments, I think of the choices you made, and I wonder. Did you know?
Being nearly the same age as you, I am sure you knew that drinking wasn’t a good choice for the baby. Your baby. My baby.
But did you know the extent it would rock her.
I didn’t know it happens how it did.
I didn’t know that with alcohol, even a drop can affect so much.
I didn’t understand the extent, and that’s why it’s so easy for me to say I forgive you.
So this year, as we passed into the sixth year of my dream coming true, I wanted to recommit my promises and check in.
As we stay steadfast in our commitment to give her everything we can, teach her all we can, expose her to as many beneficial experiences as we can, I tell you, my beautiful friend, I am here for her.
I am here for it all.
The only way I know how, is to keep on leading with my whole heart. I will keep on bringing the world to her, and I will continue to tell world to get ready.
This year, as we dive deep into fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, please know it’s not with any shade to you.
It’s a part of her, and we love all of her parts.
I want the entire world to be ready to welcome her when she is ready to fully experience what is in store.
I want you to see strength and courage in her, and be inspired.
She is a force to be reckoned with, and I think its because she has nature and nurture on her side.
Loving you, unconditionally, always and in so many ways.