Happy Birthday Manda

sols_62012-12-24_19-19-03_509You are 24 years old today.  I can still see you in my mind’s eye as that sweet little 7 year old girl who sometimes sucked her thumb.  I felt like you were family already – but it didn’t happen until you were 8.  Your vibes were strong -It was as if I could hear you say….”I need a family that will love and take care of me.  I will thrive then.” 

It was close.  You almost slipped through my hands.  That last day, standing at the bus, saying goodbye and assuring you that your new family would be great, through the tears.  I kept wondering, why did I feel so strongly about this student?  They were all special, but you were different.

Then, Lissa, who is nothing if not persistent, insisted that she become a mother to kids who needed someone.  She always told me, “Carrie you have your career.  You have your degrees.  This is what I can do to make my mark.”  When she heard about you and your sisters – she had to have YOU three.  You know I’m not very religious, but it is truly amazing how everything aligned just right that year and to our family you came!

It’s been 17 years.  You grew into a girl who loved school and sports. I still have the project that you did in 5th grade naming me the most special person in your life. I will never forget that. As a big sister you provided guidance to Ebonee and Nydra.  There were probably many more late-night-talks with your sisters than I will ever know. You helped each of them through their college freshman jitters. Your wisdom is beyond your years. I always knew you’d go to college and it was one of my proudest moments when you graduated from the U of I. Since coming home from college I have been able to depend on you for so many things. You are the kind of person that everyone knows they can depend on. Grandma is one who definitely knows this!

Our lives are so much richer since you became part of our family. I feel lucky every day.



13 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Manda

  1. This is so touching. Man… Reading posts today has been an emotional whirlwind! 🙂 My favorite part about this is, “I kept wondering, why did I feel so strongly about this student? They were all special, but you were different.” Then.. everything just, “aligned.” It IS amazing how intuitive we can be. When you know something is just RIGHT. It is amazing.. and I’m so happy for you all. Makes me smile.

  2. This is absolutely beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. It was seeping with your caring feelings for her, and I loved that you specifically wrote it to her. Absolutely gorgeous!

  3. This is wonderful, Carrie! I’m glad you shared it with your mom. My favorite part was ‘you almost slipped through my hands’ and the image of you and her saying your good-byes. Heartbreaking. I’m not very religious either, but I do believe our lives have bits of fate in them. This piece is really about fate, to me. So great!

  4. Carrie, your voice is very strong in this piece. Your heart is too. It made me think again about some of my students. The ones that I wished I could take home with me and love and keep and read to and talk to and give to and raise and help them to see how awesome they can be. I think I might need to “slice” about that one day. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like these girls were the perfect addition to your family and you were the perfect addition to theirs.

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