Your blonde hair doesn’t match my brown hair. The fact that we have the same big, blue eyes is just a coincidence. You do not have the obnoxiously loud “Knaub laugh”. All the things that biologically make you the beautiful little girl you are are not things you got from me. You look nothing like me and you never will. But I know, without a doubt in my mind, you are exactly where you were always meant to be.
I remember the day our story started. July of 2012, your daddy and I loaded up your 2-month-old little brother into our car and headed to York to pick you up from the DHHS office. The woman who gave birth to you and your custodial parent for the first two years of your life made some horrible choices. She was selfish. She chose her addiction over you, and you suffered because of it. She was everything a mother shouldn’t be. You were innocent in everything that happened. You did nothing wrong, and I need you to not only understand that, but whole-heartedly believe it. Her bad choices are not your burdens to bear.
I can still remember all of the thoughts that were running through my head during the drive to York. I was scared. I was nervous. I didn’t even know if I was a good enough mother to your little brother yet—what if I screwed you both up? I wasn’t prepared for you at all, but something in me was ready.
Something in me knew that I had to fight for you. So that’s exactly what your daddy and I did. We fought lawyers, we fought caseworkers. We fought and fought and fought for you. After several months, we finally won. You were no longer a “temporary placement”, and I can’t even explain the amount of relief and joy that brought us. We could finally move on and begin enjoying our family of four.
It wasn’t as easy it sounds. Fighting was hard. Fighting people who were supposed to be your voice and were supposed to have your best interest at heart, but were only trying to protect the woman who abused and neglected you, was exhausting. The court dates, the meetings, the hoops we had to jump through . . . every bit of it was mentally exhausting and painful.
But I never gave up. I would do it a million times over, if it meant protecting you.
Because that’s what love does. There is no how-to article or book out there to tell you how to love a child who isn’t biologically yours as much as you love a child that is biologically yours. I believe everyone is capable of this kind of love, though. Biology is just a made up boundary that, unfortunately, keeps a lot of kids from the unconditional love that they need and deserve.
Love takes you to places you never thought you’d be, and it makes you do things you never thought you’d do. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be a mother to a child who wasn’t born to me. I most certainly never thought I’d be raising you and your brother by myself after your dad and I split. But here we are. We have come so far.
For the past seven years I have been your mom. I have loved you, guided you, scolded you, taught you, and cheered you on. Your biological makeup is not a reflection of mine, but your soul is.
The way your heart breaks when you see a homeless person, and the way you insist we stop whatever we’re doing to give them some spare change. The way you wear your heart on your sleeve, your sarcasm and witty remarks. The way you roll your eyes at your dad, and the way you tell your brother “I just can’t deal with you right now.” Those things—those are all me. (I’m sorry and you’re welcome).
As you get older, you will start piecing things together. You will have questions that only the truth will be able to answer. The conversation that I’ve been dreading for the past seven years will become reality.
I know you will feel confused, upset, and maybe even a little lost—but when all of those emotions start surfacing, I want you to remember that there is no one on this planet who will fiercely defend, protect, and love you as much as I have and always will.
You may not have a single strand of my DNA in your body, but you, my sweet girl, are absolutely all of me.
You may also like: