dusty2When I think about writing this letter to her so many things go through my mind. So many things that I won’t actually say to her. All my insecurities about being the mother come flying to the surface. The other day I was asked if I feel like she’s my daughter because she’s adopted. I don’t know how to answer that. I never had a daughter before and I didn’t have a mom when I was her age. I have many worries about her. I wonder if she feels loved enough. Do I give enough of myself to her? Or because of my own hurt over the years and all the similarities I see between the two of us I wonder if I push her away somehow. Do I laugh enough with her? Do I make her laugh? Will she always feel as I did growing up? Left out, different, terribly alone? How do I, as her mother, help in the healing process that God wants for her? My mom died when I was 9. I don’t know what kind of mom she was. I have very few memories of her. Because of all this it is difficult to write a letter to her without it carrying my sense of guilt. I want so much for her. I want her to love Jesus, be educated, not have get pregnant or have any children out of wedlock. I want her to dream and pursue those dream, to never ever give up. I want her to never find herself trapped in the welfare system. Well, maybe I should just get on with that birthday letter!

Dear Dusty,

I can’t believe that it has been 10 years already. It doesn’t seem possible, does it? Well, to me it doesn’t, but to you it probably feels like a long time…like it’s a whole lifetime. I was only 24 when you were born. Wow. I am so glad I was able to be at your birth. It was a pleasant surprise. You decided to come into this world on the day I had a break from taking care of my dad. Your head was covered in dark hair. I remember crying when you were born. So much emotion was flooding through my heart. I was incredibly thankful that you had arrived safely and completely in awe of God for this incredible process of being pregnant and having a baby. I cried for all the great things the world has to offer you and I cried for all the hurt it offers you, too. I remember looking at you as you were being born and praying for your life to be different. For you to rise above the women who have gone before you. I think we all want that. Us adults, that is. We look at the children around us that we love so much and hope that they are better than we are. Not in a bad way. But in that way that we have blazed the trail before you and learned so many things that we want to pass on to you so that you may get further on the trail than we have.

You are a beautiful girl. I love the way you look when you laugh uncontrollably about something so very silly. Isn’t it the silliest things that get us laughing so hard we have to hold our bellies in to keep them from bursting? I love how you have a love for babies. That is a gift. Not everybody is like that. You are very nurturing and playful. One day you’ll make a spectacular babysitter! Ah, you’re also a young business woman. “Mom, can I have a sale today? Can I sell kool-aid? Can we have a garage sale?” You’re always thinking of ways to make money, aren’t you? It is that kind of spirit that will keep you going and growing when things around you get tough.

When it is Bible time you are always asking to read. I love that in you.

There is so much you want to learn. So much you ask me to teach you. I will teach you what I know. Let me rephrase that, I will do my best to teach you what I know.

Dusty, you and I are much alike. We both know loss and hurt, but we also know joy and love. God brought us together for a reason. He has a plan. His plans are us are what? Yeah, I know you memorized Jer. 29:11. Thank you for letting Him use you in my life. You have shown me much about my own heart. Things I would have never learned without you. I love you. I truly and deeply love you. I love you to the moon and back a quadzillion times. {and yes ‘quadzillion’ is a word so don’t argue about it}

Love,

Your mama

dusty

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