Nydra

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March SOL Challenge #16

I had lunch with my sister, my mom and my niece yesterday.  I haven’t seen my niece, Nydra, since Christmas time because she’s away at college.  She is the youngest of three sisters who were adopted by my sister 17 years ago.  Nydra was 4 years old when she became my niece.  I was the principal of the school where the two older girls attended, but Nydra wasn’t in school yet, so I didn’t know her as well.  She’s always been very quiet.  To herself.  Today at our lunch date, I saw a beautiful girl who has grown into a beautiful young lady.

It has been interesting to watch my little peanut grow and mature.  As a young girl, Nydra was shy, timid, and sometimes angry.  She seemed to bear the brunt of a violent life left behind.  A drug addicted mother whose boyfriends came and went with their drugs and God knows what else. She fought with her sisters.  She felt misunderstood.  The two older girls were closer in age and much closer to each other than to her.  Nydra felt like an outsider.

As she continued to develop into her teens she was still finding herself.  It wasn’t until she finally made it to her second university (the first was a huge mistake.  She followed her friends to a place she had no desire to attend) that she really came into her own.  I’ve only met her college friends once, but they seem to be respectful and kind.  Nydra started going out and having fun like a normal teenager while away at school.  I’m sure I don’t want to know the gory details of her college life -but I believe deep down that she has been responsible and sensible in her home away from home.  She has also identified some strong interests.  She loves animals and decided to major in biology.

Today I learned that Nydra will be traveling in the spring to study abroad in Italy. This is something I would have never imagined her doing 17 years ago.  It’s such a bold move.  A trip that will lead to an even greater awakening in my youngest niece.  I’m so excited for her.  She has blossomed into a gorgeous young woman.  I sat back and watched her at lunch as she helped my mom with her menu, with her purse, with the heavy chair as she rose to leave the table.  She was so loving.  So gentle.  So happy.  All of us.

Nydra and her grandma.  xoxo

Nydra and mom

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13 thoughts on “Nydra

  1. Beautiful! As an adoptive mother myself, I can appreciate the amazing journey Nydra is on to find out who she really is, made a little easier by the circle of those who love her. Thank you for sharing this little bit of hope with us this morning.

  2. Reading your beautifully touching slice made me realize (once again) how different all kids are. It seems Nydra just needed more time and patience and your kind family gave her that. I’m going to remember your Nydra as I look at those students in my class who are also shy and quiet and some angry. I need to give them my attention, my kindness, my patience. With time (probably well beyond my year with them) they, too will soar as Nydra is. How special that you had such a lovely lunch to see the transformation! Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a heart warming slice! So happy that Nydra has found her way and seeing the picture of her I can tell she is headed for greatness!

  4. What a sweet Slice. You have captured the loving relationship with your niece just perfectly, and I am a sucker for photos, so I just love the one at the end. Your mom and niece look so happy….I am glad you shared this with us!

  5. I love the story of your niece. An adopted girl finding her way. Her place. And with the love of your family she found it.
    “A trip that will lead to an even greater awakening in my youngest niece” I love this line. And I admire people that have the courage to do things I would never be brave enough to do. I love that she’s a fellow animal lover too!

  6. This story gives me hope for the children who walk our halls everyday. There are so many who have the same struggles that your nieces had. I wonder sometimes what their lives will become. I wonder how it can ever be good for them. We often make the statement…”I wish I could take him home with me”. Well, someone did take Nydra and her sisters home with them. They are lucky to have you and you are lucky to have them.

  7. After reading your post and Cathy’s comment, I often have heard myself say I wish I could take her home. Nydra is so fortunate to have found a family that is loving and so accepting. Your sister has showered her with love and hope. This is why this little peanut has blossomed into a fine young woman. I really want to meet her. What a touching slice!!! Just so you know nieces look up to their aunts.

  8. Gosh your niece is lucky to have you guys. She has grown up to be a fine young woman. Wishing her all the luck in her future journey. The slice was so beautifully written. By the way, you are so your mother’s daughter.

  9. Carrie, I totally get that feeling of suddenly seeing your niece for the first time – that happens to me with my own niece. Like, all of a sudden, they grew up and became a person and you’re just realizing it. This was sweet. I hope you share it with Nydra.

  10. Such a blessing to get to see a child grow up and come into their own. She sounds like a very strong woman. I am so happy she will travel to Italy- what an amazing experience.

  11. “It has been interesting to watch my little peanut grow and mature.” Don’t we always see them as our peanuts no matter how big they grow? Sweet slice.

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