Emily, age 1.
It was October of 2005, 12 years ago now, and yet I can still remember it all like it was yesterday. I held my breath as I entered the small visiting room that held you and the other children that had been detained that night. You sat there silently on the floor. A pink, dirty, torn Gerber onesie clung loosely to your frame. Our eyes locked as I entered, and you carefully held up your sweet little arms, beckoning me to come to you, to pick you up, to hold you in the midst of the chaos and the trauma of your upturned 10 month old world. My heart broke in that moment. No words. I swooped you up into my arms and looked into your eyes as a social worker spoke of lice, and drugs, and hunger, and so much brokenness. It was a blur. I was too overcome to process all the words. Second detention. Born tox positive. Meth. Possible delays. It did not matter what was said, I was in this journey with you now. I was yours. I was all in, no-matter-what, because I was already passionately FOR you. It happened in a blink, truly, and it has been happening every day since.
Now you are 13, you are finishing up your 8th grade year, and I am just in AWE of God and so very grateful.
I am profoundly grateful to your birth mom for choosing life. You were exposed to a variety of substances throughout your fetal development BUT GOD…
He had you.
As he knit you together in her womb, he had you.
When you were born and went through drug withdrawals, he had you.
When you were detained the first time, at the hospital, he had you.
When you were reunited and faced those first months of your life in all the hard, he had you.
When you were detained the second time–hungry, cold, dirty, and scared–he had you.
And he has had you every day since.
As you have declared his might and his power, with every single thing you have done that man said was IMPOSSIBLE,
As you grew up and showed absolutely NO DELAYS,
As you worked and you learned and you SHINED,
He had you.
And here you are now. 13. Smart, loving, beautiful and SO VERY CAPABLE of doing absolutely ANYTHING.
I am just so grateful.
I am so grateful that I have had the privilege of getting a front row seat in your life, not just as your mom, but as your teacher. I have watched you take your first steps, make your first sounds, and learn your first words. I taught you how to read, how to write, and how to do basic math. You went on to teach yourself Latin, logic, history, science, and math over the last 4 years. You have acted out Shakespeare and explored many of the classics. You enjoy grammar lessons because they are easy and word analogies because they are fun.
You are an amazing miracle, dear one, and it has been so incredible to watch God do the impossible.
I am so proud of all of your hard work, of the countless hours you have put in, and everything you have accomplished. However, I am most proud of the loving, compassionate, kind, Jesus-loving young woman you have become. God has you; He has always had a plan for you, and I can’t wait to see all you continue to do. I love you, my dearest Em, and I love being your mom. I am still yours. I am still all in, and I am still passionately for you.
Emily, age 13.