Another year passing makes me feel, down to my bones, the winds of change and time blowing faster and faster. I see clearly the power of what is possible in 365 days. And equally clearly how easily I can let those precious, fleeting opportunities slip through my fingers. With my little daughter growing up quickly into a “fierce” young lady – unwilling to take cr*p from anyone but willing to lend hand to all, I see the power of the woman she will one day become. I see the power in supporting the women, the girls around the world, should become. There are girl heroes like Malala who inspire me to try to do more. And girls, taken from us too soon, who leave my heart heavy wondering what they could have done – like Hana or Marra Freh -- yet amazed at their legacy for ones so young.I also feel a growing weight of responsibility as a woman, a mother and a person who has benefited from many wonderful opportunities. I want to raise my girl to be everything she can be while simultaneously helping her navigate the tricky waters she has ahead as a transracial, international adoptee. Looking at her makes my heart melt – EVERY TIME. When her black eyes gaze lovingly and says, “Mama” and her tinkling voice then tells me whatever is on her mind, she pierces my soul. And I can see her beautiful depth when I stare into her inky orbs as I tell her all the reasons she is special and why I love her with my whole being. She is so strong when she stands up for what she believes in and yet so fragile when she is truly frightened. She is my warrior princess. I see the vast possibilities of the next generation represented in her. And so, I can envision a better world with more equality and opportunity through education and empowerment.
I read an article about the key difference between kids who excel at math and those that don’t. Surprisingly, it is that those who excel believe it can be learned; while those who don’t, believe it is an innate ability. I want my daughter to believe everything can be learned and anything is possible. As a grown woman, I still need to repeatedly, remind myself of both those things. As the passage of another year brings reflection, I look back on the past five with my darling daughter and can hardly remember life before she joined our family. Our eldest son made a similar remark recently. Leyla is always annoyed to hear of happenings that pre-dated her arrival. She too finds it hard to contemplate our family without her there.Below are a few of my favorite pictures of us over the years. Watch out world; this little one is going to make her mark! And I will be supporting and cheering for her on, each step of whatever path she chooses.
Happy Thanksgiving to all and Happy Homecoming to my beautiful daughter. Coming home on the day of my birth five year ago made it indescribably more special . You changed me for the better in so many ways, and for that I am most thankful, my sweet, funny girl.