It is hard to believe that life has moved so fast for me. It has been a roller coaster ride. Up, down, upside down.
One year ago my life as a teacher, mother of one little boy, and one rabbit would take a sharp turn.
One year ago we sat in a social worker's office and heard her talk about a little girl who had a lot of issues and needed mama and daddy.
One year ago I looked over a drawer of paper work, a brief list of medical terms I didn't understand, and I looked that social worker in the eye and said, "I understand she has a lot of problems, but I believe that we would like to adopt her."
One year ago I had to make a choice to leave a wonderful job and co-workers for an unknown future. I didn't know the battles that lay ahead of me, or the fact that I possessed a courage and strength that I didn't know that I had in me to fight and advocate for a child that was so weak and frail I was afraid to leave her out of my sight for more than a minute.
One year ago I told our teen social worker that she needed to fight for this child and step up to the plate to bring her home.
One year ago we saw a picture that looked a lot like this one:
I didn't fully understand all that I would be asked to give up, change, and learn. I didn't know that I would live in doctor's offices and hospitals half as much as I have. I didn't understand that I would spend less time on myself and that some times Marvin and Shannon would get short changed because I just didn't have enough left to give.
I also didn't know how strong I was, or how I could sit and scream at doctors when they just didn't want to hear what I had to say. Or that I could be a fast learner and swallow medical encyclopedias before doctor's visits. That I could spend hours researching a single topic just so I didn't look like some uneducated idiot. Or that I could survive on three hours of sleep and lots of coffee. Or that I could reach out to hurting parents just starting the same path I set foot on and offer support, encouragement, and most of all hope.
If I could have looked ahead and seen all of that drama, do you know what? I would have done it all over again.(Well, I may not have yelled at ALL of the doctors, just a couple) My daughter and son are the two most amazing people I know. They have survived abuse and neglect and thrived. We are not a perfect family and I am NOT a perfect mama. Marvin will tell me that. Frequently. But my children have made me better and stronger.
A year ago a little girl named Harmani was introduced to our family. She has gotten a new name and a second chance at life. Like a phoenix reborn, she has shed her old broken feathers and has grown new, stronger wings.
I love you Cary Lynn Fields. You are amazing and you have helped make me amazing as well.