A letter to my daughter's birth mother on her third birthday.
I'm looking at my daughter today on her third birthday and thinking of you. I know that today is her actual day of birth because you took the loving care to leave a detailed note next to her 4.8 pound newness wrapped in a warm blanket.
You wrote it on red paper, which I know means you were wishing her good luck in her future.
For that, and so much more, I am grateful.
But this letter is to you, and although I cannot mail it, and you will never read it, I want to write it. I want to tell you about our daughter.
She is a tiny little squirt. She is three years old today, however, she fits perfectly in size 2T clothing and no bigger. Weighing in at 27 pounds, she has gained over seven pounds in the nine months since joining our family, but she is still just a peanut. Her body is very strong and muscular though. She is already showing her athleticism through tumbling and skiing.
Her weight on her earliest records lead me to wonder if she was born prematurely, or if tiny is just in her genes. Her size reminds me that she is a fighter though, and I can see that she was from the very start. She has clawed and battled her way through this transition. Her loud, strong, and persistent cry makes us sure that she made her presence known on that January day when you parted from her.
She has worked through the obvious emotions of "hating to love us" and now she is on the precipice of releasing her full heart to us. I can see it on the horizon.
She is so smart and readily imitates her brothers. Just this week, I was paying close attention to her brother as he was reading me a story he wrote. With five children, I try to devote individual attention as much as possible. Joya tried to interrupt me several times, but I asked her to wait.
Five minutes after it was over and I was on to my next task, she came up to me with a piece of scratch paper in hand and held it just like her brother did as she proceeded to "read" me her story. As complete jibber-jabber flowed from her mouth, my heart overflowed at what a quick study she is.
Our girl potty trained faster than any Sweeney before her. The best part is that she stays completely dry through the night and has recently hit the milestone of now being able to use the bathroom without my help.
She must sense that she is a big girl now because she even refuses to use the plastic utensils that I have always provided her for her meals and insists on the metal ones that the rest of the family uses.
Her language is developing and she has great manners. Whenever I serve her a meal, she says, "Day-doo Mama!" without prompting. I don't ever want to forget that she calls underwear "ow-wa-dare" and she still calls a drink a "di-di," but is now getting more specific with having "water" or "milk."
She LOVES to dance. She loves loud, fun music. I am in disbelief at what a transformation we have seen in her time here. She used to wiggle a little while her brothers boogied, but now she appears to hold nothing back and is the first to join into our family dance sessions.
She is starting to be picky about what she wears and would love to pick out her clothes every day and night. Luckily, she submits to me if I must restrict what she wants to wear, but I have visions of our coming battles when she is a teenager.
She has been looking forward to her birthday for months now, as her entire family has celebrated birthdays since she has been home, and hers is finally here. She knows what it means to have a cake and blow out candles. She has been practicing telling us she's, "TWO! Nu-uh, FWEEE!"
Last year I wrote to you because we were both apart from her and loving her from a distance. This year, I want you to know that we have her, we love her, and we love you for your loving sacrifice.
I spent some extra time just rocking her chest to chest with her head nuzzled beneath my chin yesterday. I soaked up my two year-old and started to pray over her third year. I prayed for you too, and for her foster family that filled the gap between us so fully.
Her birthday cake is a colorful flower. I looked for a sunshine design because her favorite song is "You are My Sunshine," and I thought she would be tickled at a cake that illustrated that. But before I became frustrated at not finding my first choice, I saw the beautiful flower and was flooded with the parallel of how her little soul has blossomed since we have known her.
I'm certain that she is not done yet, and I am looking forward to enjoying the beauty of her bloom.