“And just as the darkness got very dark, he bumped into his big fur mother, and she took her little fur child home in her arms and gave him his supper.” –from “Little Fur Family” by Margaret Wise Brown
Here is what I hope you will know: it is different. Raising babies that I have birthed is not the same as raising children not born to me. Do I love you, my children, differently? I would like to think that love can rise above the unknown, and even that which is known but unthinkable. I would like to think that love transcends all boundaries and fills the hollow spaces with what needs to be there. The difference lies in circumstances, in history. With my biological children, whom I have known since before you were born, the history is ours. Together, we have been one. For my children that came to me when the journey had already begun, for you that were matched to me by the stars and the forces beyond, at the expense of a different path and different players, the history is yours, mine, and others’. Only eventually is it ours, too.
I hope you know that you are not fortunate or blessed to have me. We have been given to one another in this life, and we have each other to stand alongside against our struggles. There’s a place between wanting to cover up and hide away from all the bad things that happened, to pretend that they never were, and wishing I could share more than I even know, to help your actions and behavior make just a little more sense to others in a world of judgment. I don’t want to make excuses, nor do I feel that I should hold your hand through all of the challenges and conflicts, which are almost daily, and which have come from a place deep inside and from many yesterdays ago: a place from where the fallout never ceases.
I hope that some day, you can see yourself as I see you; I hope that you will let others hear your laughter and let them see the real sparkle that dances in your eye. I hope, too, that you know that when your day is guided by anger, grief, sadness, despair, and darkness, these hours will not define you, and you will not be alone.
I hope you will believe and understand that what “happened” is not for all to know. I hope you understand and believe that you will be a strong adult for what you have overcome, but that you are still yet a child who is trying to find your place in a world that is not always gracious or forgiving.
When you fall, when you are shattered, I will do my very best to help pick up the pieces. I know, though, that in the end it is up to you to forge the path to your future. No matter where the path leads, you will always have a place here, at home.
I hope you hope, right along with me.
I hope you know, too, how very deeply you are loved, no matter how or when you arrived.
All of you.
“Sleep, sleep, our little fur child, out of the windiness, out of the wild. Sleep warm in your fur all night long, in your little fur family. This is a song.” –from “Little Fur Family” by Margaret Wise Brown