I could see it in her eyes. The disappointment. She didn’t say a word, but I knew what she was feeling and thinking.
Adoption is coming soon. In the midst of all the preparations, our soon to be adopted children were asked by their case manager what they wanted on their adoption day cake. Our biological daughter, who has been on this journey the entire time, desperately wanted to be asked as well.
She wanted to have a voice in the celebration and the cake decoration decision. She wanted to be a part of the story, a part of the day.
She is 9 and as much as she gets it, she still struggles at times.
Later that evening, I pulled her to the side and I asked her how she was feeling. She simply stated, “I want to be able to share the story too.” It makes sense. We often hear people talk about how the foster children are having their story rewritten with adoption. While that may be true, we cannot forget that biological children are also having their stories rewritten.
She was four or five when she began encouraging her mother and me to become foster parents. To be a “mom and dad for kids who needed it.” My career had led to her being around the foster care world her entire life. To her, taking in kids was the natural thing to do. At her young age and in her innocence she didn’t fully comprehend all the things she might or might not be giving up. She just knew we had to do it. Over the past 3 years we have seen her share her home, her stuff, her parents, her friends, her grandparents, her holidays, her extra-curricular activities, and almost every faucet of her life with four other little people who needed it. She has never blinked. She has been a champ through it all.
So much so, that I think we, at times, have forgotten how much her life is different. This has become our normal. But, in our desire to heal the wounds of those we have brought into our home, we can never forget the sacrifice she made to take this journey.
I think that is why she wanted to be included in the cake decision. Because, this isn’t just about the children gaining a family, it is also about a 9 year old giving her family.
She is brave. She is kind. She is pure. She is love. And, she reminded me tonight that this is her story too.
It was a reminder I needed more than she’ll ever know.