As I sit here on the Eve of my eldest daughter’s graduation, I look back and think about all that has happened to our little family that has led us to this milestone. Not every chapter in our book of life has been happy, but there have been more good than bad.
It all started in 1998 when she was born and the promise I made to her as I held her tiny little body. First off let me say, I am not her biological Mother, but I am her Mom in every sense. I raised her and taught her right from wrong. I did everything a loving Mother could and would do for their child. The promise I made was to watch over her and protect her. That if ever she needed anything all she would have to do is ask. I planned on being in her life. At that point I didn’t know it would be as a Mom, I thought it would be as her Aunt. I’d like to believe I have kept that promise. I think she would agree. *smiles*
In 2000 she was once again removed from the care of her biological parents. Reasons I will not share. Let’s just say, it needed to happen. My husband at the time and I applied for custody and we won. This beautiful little 18 month old girl came into my life in April of that year and has been with me since save for a short time when we hit one of those “not so good points in our life” moments.
In 2001 my youngest daughter was born and my eldest became a big sister! She was an amazing big sister too. Always wanting to help, always kissing her little sister. She was great. Of course like most siblings there were moments in time when they would be arguing but when it comes down to it, they have each other’s backs no matter what. They have a special bond. They technically may only be cousins, but they don’t see it that way. In their minds and hearts, they are sisters and no one can ever take that away from them.
So many more milestones achieved along the way. First day of school. She didn’t cry, I did. She had a love for learning even at a young age. Which I am so happy to say, still has! Last year of Elementary was emotional for her as well, but she made it through. Start of high school was smooth sailing. I was so worried that she would be bullied or made fun of because she was different. Kids can be cruel and sure there were a couple that tried to make her grade 8 experience rough, but she got through it with flying colours.
All these little moments have led us to here. Tomorrow, that sweet little girl that I took into my life will be graduating high school. Another milestone accomplished! I should also mention that at a young age she was diagnosed with having a “mild intellectual disability”. Physically she matured like a normal teenager, but because she was born with F.A.S. she didn’t mature as quickly mentally. This made school difficult. Most of her classes were modified so she could do them at her level and pace, but even with those difficulties, she managed to make the Honour Roll many times throughout high school. This year included! I am so very proud of my daughter. There were rough moments but she succeeded in all that she did. She worked hard and she stayed focused on her education.
I know I’m going to be a mess tomorrow. One of those events in her life that I know I will cry at. I want to take a moment now to say congratulations…
My darling daughter Sarah, you have achieved something today that a lot of other kids in your position haven’t been able to. When you go up tomorrow to receive your certificate, be proud. Think back and remember all that you did and went through to get to that moment. You have made me so very proud. I know without a doubt that you will succeed in anything you put your mind to. It might not always be easy but you can do it. I have faith in you and you should have faith in yourself. If you can get through elementary and high school, you can get through the next phase of your education. I know you have dreams and you have plans. If you continue to work hard and stay focused, you’ll be able to achieve those goals as well. Enjoy the break though. You deserve to take a little time off to breathe and to relax. Have fun and experience life. It will help when you do go back to school. I love you very much. Always and forever.
To you, and to the rest of the KP graduating class of 2016, CONGRATULATIONS!