My daughter, I look at you and wonder where the years have gone. You are getting taller, losing your baby fat, and seeking out things that intrigue you. Ten years from now, I hope you will stumble upon this rambling of mine.
As a 5-year-old, you are bright-eyed, strong-willed, and quite the little drama queen. You organize my closet like no one’s business. You worry about whether or not the pets have enough to eat, and you are already slightly obsessed with teenage musicals.
You push my buttons, and seem to enjoy it. Yet, at the same time, you make my heart melt when I see your sweetness arise. I watch you as you watch me. You mimic my every move, and ask often, “When will I be old enough to….?”
My daughter, as we commemorate your adoption anniversary, I want you to know a few things.
Ten years from now when you are 15-years-old, life will look a little different from now. You will be sitting in a high school classroom possibly wondering if you are good enough. You might look in the mirror and only see imperfections. You might even be hard on yourself, find things you want to correct, and maybe even wish you looked different. I did, too.
My daughter, ten years from now, I want you know that you are beautiful.
Your beauty is beyond compare as there is no other girl in the world just like you. Your eyes, your hair, your skin tone, and your body are exactly what they are supposed to be. They are pieces of the magnificent puzzle that make up who you are.
Your beauty is more than skin deep though. Your beauty comes from the inner part of who you are. It comes from that place where your deepest whispers of the heart are heard. It bristles at your ideas. It captures your dreams, and it carves out a spot in the universe just for you.
Ten years from now, your 15-year-old self is a person I cannot wait to meet. I look forward to seeing where she wants to go in life, what captures her heart, and where her hidden talents are found. I anticipate watching her try on fancy dresses for school dances, and listening to her giggle at the sound of a boy calling on the phone.
Ten years from now, please tell me if I am hovering just a bit too much. Please let me know that I might just be getting on your nerves. I already consider the trials you might face in high school, and wonder if you will see yourself with the same set of lenses that I see you.
I do not want you to feel the sting of rejection, or the intimidating glare of another girl at school. I know though, that I cannot shield you from these things. I can just build you up to be the confident girl that you deserve to be.
If someone tells you that you are not good enough, please say, “I am better.” If someone tells you that you are not welcome, please tell him or her, “I’m sorry that you are missing out on a friendship.”
If you hear that you are too skinny or too fat, remind yourself that true beauty is not seen with the eyes. True beauty is experienced in those moments of tenderness between two friends. It is felt when you are doing exactly what your heart wants you to do. It hovers when you are showing kindness to those who need it the most.
True beauty does not have a physical image.
As I think about our adoption anniversary and scroll through the many pictures of you we have saved on our computer, I gaze with awe at how amazing you are. You are exactly who you were created to be, and, we are exactly the family we were created to be.
I will never be able to replace your birth mother. Your daddy will never be able to replace your birth father, but know this, you are deeply loved. You were chosen.
Today, tomorrow, and ten years from now, I will always defend you, and stand with you. I will always celebrate the day you came to me, and the moment I held you for the first time.
Ten years from now, I want you to know that…
You are beautiful. You are hope fulfilled. You are so worth it. You are loved.