I wish I could take out my brain, rewind to six years ago, and let you see what was going on in there. It was a flurry of crazy worries and anxious thoughts. I was preparing to send my Olivia to you and I wasn’t ready or sure of what was about to happen. I worried the normal worries: that she would get teased, that she would be left out, that she would be overwhelmed, that she wouldn’t adjust. But I also had big worries that kept me up at night.
Would you see her? I don’t mean would you see her but would you see her?
Would you notice the way her gorgeous brown hair almost twinkles with highlights when she sits in the sun? Would you fall in love with the freckles that splay across her nose? Would you go crazy for the way she laughs with her whole body with her eyes shut and her head thrown back and her mouth open wide? Would you be in awe of her unexpected sense of humor? Would you melt at her caring manner and her loving ways? Would you be able to see beyond her disability and truly see her like I do? Would you be able to love her?
Would you love her? I don’t mean would you like her but would you love her?
She’s not like every other kid. She’s a challenge and tough at times. Would you be able to love her anyway? Would you be able to get past the diapers and messes and fingers in the nose and snot and chewing with her mouth open and drooling and constantly taking her shoes off and naughty words and still love her? Would this be just a job for you or would you really truly love her? Would you be able to care for her like she needed, like she was your own?
Would you know her? I don’t mean know her but would you know her?
Would you know that being silly and funny is the best way to get her to do anything? Would you know that she has to feel loved and safe before she does anything? Would you realize that she is very smart if you just give her time? Would you find out that she loves all things Disney and will do anything for a silly voice or a favorite stuffed animal? Would you discover that she loves to read books and listen to music and dance? Would you understand that she is a wonderful sister? Would you realize how difficult everyday, mundane tasks are to her and not get frustrated when you are teaching her the same thing for the 1000th time? Would you be able to comprehend just how far she’s come and just how much potential she truly has? Would you understand that she is a miracle, a gem, a treasure?
Would you know that she is beloved by us? Would you understand how difficult it was for us to give her to you? Would you welcome her and love her and take care of her and teach her and enjoy her?
After six years, I know all of the answers to these questions to be a resounding shout-it-from-the-rooftops YES! You have seen her, known her and loved her like she was your own. You have been everything I dreamt of and then some. You are a miracle too. We will be forever grateful for your love for our daughter.
This Mom will never, ever be able to say thank you enough.
Take note junior high teachers, you have some mighty big shoes to fill.
If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.
I hope you hear me, I hope you know how much you are loved, and I hope you know I thank you from the bottom of my heart.