In some ways, it seems dismissive to say Happy Birthday to someone that I know is still in a place of confusion and fear. I'm struggling today with how to honor the woman who gave my children life. All day, I've wanted to take a drive, try to find her, get her somewhere safe and make sure she's warm, fed and knows she's loved. Actually, I struggle with that most days, but today the urge is a bit stronger. I know I need to maintain some distance due to safety concerns but some days, most days, it is so hard. So, I distract myself by thinking of all the things I'd tell her if only I could.
I'd share how funny and kind they can be. I'd explain how Mateo is learning to read and Joaquin is following quickly behind him. I'd laugh as I described how Joaquin makes a face that I've seen on her and that Mateo has her gift of gab. I'd let her know that Mateo has her determination and Joaquin has her flare for the dramatic. It would be important to mention that I know how very much she loves both boys and that she struggled to parent them in the best way she knew. I want her to know that I know there were good days, weeks, months...there had to have been for the boys to be so resilient. I don't want her to worry that the boys will ever hear a negative word about her from me. I know that her challenges do not define her. I also am very aware that their lives didn't start the day I adopted them. I will always strive to keep them connected to their biological family and their heritage. I want her to know that I love the boys with every fiber of my being and so do many others. I'd reassure her that the boys are surrounded by people who adore them. I'd promise that I will hug them every chance I get, nurture their individual interests,cheer their victories and dry their tears when they fall.
If only I could, I'd hug her and tell her how many good things from her I see in them. I'd tell her how thankful I am and that we love her unconditionally.