You 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.