When you first entered our lives you were 18 months old. You came right out of foster care on a cold December day. You were chubby, blonde, and scared. Those first few days must have been so terrifying for you as you learned to navigate a new home, family, and life. As you sat in the corner and warily eyed us as we tried to coax you with toys and food we waited for the magical moment when you would smile at us.
You soon adjusted to life in your new world. We knew you had a bunch of diagnoses, but we also knew that you were a pretty determined tiny human who didn’t let life slow you down. You were go go go from sunrise to sunset. Wary of new people, but loving to those you claimed as your own.
We loved your energy and your curiosity. When you were about five you demanded a “baby scissor” when we went through the process of adoption again. I tried to stomp out your hope on that one, but one determined social worker proved me wrong.
You became a big brother. Sometimes it was really hard for you. You and your sister fought to be the center of attention. You would take her IPad and she would scream and kick you. But you also were her hero. The person who could make her smile after a hard day. She loved being around you. You were her person.
As the years slipped past I have watched you grow up and change. Green glasses and tractors were replaced by X-Box games, a love of cars, and teen fashions. Watching the baby grow into a young man has been bittersweet.
You have had a lot of challenges. Moving to a new state, a new school, Autism, and the loss of your sister. Things that would knock a grown up flat on their face. But you keep pushing forward. You show up and just try harder.
I am so proud of you. Even with all the punches life has thrown at you, you just don’t stop. You are kind, funny, and work harder than most people ever know. I am excited to walk along side of you on your journey and can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.