One of my favorite family pics of almost all of us a few years ago!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lost and Found: A Mother's Day Letter from Heather, 2009

Life has a funny sense of humor.  Today, while searching for something I had written earlier about mothering foster children, I ran across this letter.  It was written by Heather, our first adopted daughter, who died in a car accident a little over two years ago.  Her words reminded me of the struggles we had in our relationship, but also the importance and value of sticking around through all the challenging times when what I really wanted to do was run away and hide from the difficulties.  I would gladly trade all those hard times for a little more time with her.   

May 6, 2009

She’s the mom of way too many, the greatest debate coach in the region, and the best person I know. I could say no words that would truly explain what I think of you.

 I don’t think I noticed how much you meant to me until I found myself begging God that you wouldn’t give up on me. I know that our relationship still isn’t perfected but I trust that God has it in His hands.

Mother’s Day is such a hard day for me, because I feel like I’ve never been the daughter to you that you’ve always wanted. I guess…I guess I get a taste of how you feel only just one day a yr. Because I  know I always make you feel like you’re not the mom I want….

Can I take it all back? Can I please just erase anything I’ve ever said to hurt you or tear you down?

My life…has been a mess but now that I’m finally turning it around I hate that I’ve caused you any trouble. All the late night conversations and dealing with my teenage yrs…

Not only do I not know how you do it,but I don’t understand why you still do! 

But that mom, that’s what I’m sooo greatful for. I wish that I could express that to you every day....

I wish for a lot of things though… I wish that you had more time alone with yourself…so you can think and get organized. 

I wish that I wasn’t so self absorbed and was actually more of a help then a pain…

But those are just the many things you realize as you grow up.  I’m sixteen yrs old. Young and beginning on my journey to face the world alone….it’s kinda freak.

What am I gunna do without you? 

You’ve emotionally guided my every step for so long and created the foundation I lacked - it’s overwhelming to think I’m gunna have to do it all by myself one day. 

Those are the days I’ll be thankful for you the most. God didn’t give me a mom who did everything for me on purpose. He gave me you. Which is sooo much better.

 As much time as I spend questioning God, I think he laughs under his breath…He’s just got it all worked out. 

He gave you to me to teach you patience, I’m sure. I think I’ve presented you a completely different aspect of life. 

I still remember the first night I met you in Missouri (she was 6-years old an in an adoptive home that didn't want to keep her). You didn’t phase me a bit. I thought you’d be gone in no time. I played that game way too many times, I knew how to win.

But life has proven me wrong. I can’t win everything and I can’t do it all by myself.

This is just a letter I’m writing you that will get read a couple times and put under a stack of books or something…but I just want you to know…you mean the world to me mom. I’m way lucky to have you, even if I wouldn’t have picked you out for myself. I pray that our relationship will heal over the years and that one day I’ll be able to understand how much you love me. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.

There’s lyrics are all over the page of songs that say things that make me think of you. But here’s one of my favorite songs that I have dedicated to you. Every word of this song is to you.

How Have We Come This Far by Wavorly
In the beginning when all this was something new
I was younger
They say when you’re older you have it figured out
Did I take it for granted?
How do you see right through my faults?

Turning around was never so hard
Until I found us far apart
Turning it over I’m left to wonder
How have we come this far?

Hands that are reaching
To a world that’s turned away from you
Truth that is sobering
Your love will never cease finding the lost ones
Letting go of all my pain

Falling down is oh, so hard
I am torn, I am bruised
Finding grace in every scar
I am whole, I am new

I love you,

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