Oh, baby girl. I just don't even know where to start. Today, you turn seven years old. And let me tell you, we have made much of it. Since this is your first birthday with us, we have six other birthdays that we wanted to make up for. We had a bouncy in the backyard yesterday and your friends and family all came over and you loved every minute!!! It was so fun to see you have your face painted and to see how much you love birthdays! At one point I walked into the house, exhausted from the party planning and looked at GranMary and said, "Wow. Sometimes I just forget that she's never had this and it makes it so worth it."
You see, my darling, you are so worth EVERYTHING. Even when you don't believe that you are. Even when you've been made to feel like you aren't. Even when you do things that you think will make me believe that you are not loveable- I will NEVER believe it. I see your heart and it is beautiful. (And wow- YOU are beautiful!)
I feel you. I feel so honored that you share your inner most heart with me. It is one of the greatest pleasures of my life to get to walk that journey with you. I'm sorry that I mess it up sometimes. But you? You are teaching me more about love and forgiveness that I could have ever imagined. I think that it was on the third day that you came to live with us. You had shut down and were in some far away place and desperate to reach you I sat next to you and said, "I'm just going to tell you right now that I'm going to mess up a lot. Sometimes Mommy gets mad and upset at things that I shouldn't get upset about. And sometimes Mommy doesn't do the right thing. And just like you are learning how to be in our family, I am learning how to be your Mommy. And when we are leaning new things we are going to mess up. When you mess up, I'm still going to love you. When I mess up, I hope that you will forgive me. I really, really, really hope that you will forgive me because we are kind of stuck together now. And when you are old with wrinkles and gray hair we are still going to be stuck together." And then from that quiet state you'd been in you said, "Megan, what is wrinkles?" I smooshed my forehead together and made wrinkles and you giggled- just a little bit. I knew that we were going to be okay. It's also from that point on that you called me mom.
Scarlett, you have so much love inside of you. I don't know why you trust me after all that life has put you through, but you do and I am so grateful. Sweetie- your strength blows me away. I'm pretty sure that I would have crumbled by now if I were you and yet you just keep getting stronger. It's awe inspiring to watch.
You have the most adorable little Congolese accent. You talk fast and loud and we have to remind you to slow down a lot. But over the last couple of weeks, you are getting a little twang to your speech and it reminds me of how lucky I am to have the Congo and Kentucky meshed all together in my house. I never thought anyone could fidget more than Miles does, but YOU DO!
You and Miles have found something in each other that brings me to my knees sometimes. The two of you are bonded in a way that one can only dream of for their children. I see the two of you going off to the same college and getting a little apartment together and just walking through young adulthood together with your friends and significant others. It's precious. It's precious to hear the two of you talk about Congo and how different your experiences are and yet how very much those experiences glue your hearts together.
You are Noah are staunch competitors. Both of you are in the same grade. You are each finding your own way and your relationship is the slowest to build, but it is taking leaps and bounds as you learn about each others different strengths. We joke that you are twins- only 10 days apart. When people ask us how old our kids are we go through the ages and people say, "Oh! You have twins!" And we grin and say, "Kindof. They are 10 days apart." Watching them try to figure it out always makes Daddy and me crack up. We keep saying that we are going to just shake our heads and say, "Different dads" and see how people react then, but somehow we just haven't found the courage. Maybe we need to get a dose of your courage, Scarlett. You have it in heaps!
You and Sadie are something else entirely. Sadie goes back and forth between being so annoyed at all you "little kids" and being all about "mothering" you "little kids" that it will give you whiplash! But sometimes she invites you in to her room to have a sleepover on the weekends and I just watch you light up! You idolize her. You idolize her friends. You wish you could paint your toenails as well as she does.
You are a hand holder. We can't go anywhere without you wanting to hold our hands. You crave physical contact like it's air. You work soooo hard to catch up at school. I see what a struggle homework is for you but you don't give up! Even when everyone else has long finished their homework, you just keep at it. Your spirit is so tenacious- at everything! It is one of my favorite things about you.
You love all things girly. Dolls are your lifeblood. You love picking out clothes and hairstyles. You tell me thank you for taking such good care of your hair every time I do your hair or take you to get it done and having cute hair is giving you such confidence. It's fun to watch your self esteem build! You love Barbies and SlimJim. Kind of like a little redneck diva. If I were to describe you in just two words it would be "sassy pants". Fabulosity just oozes out of you.
I'm just so glad that you are here. I hate everything that happened to bring you here. I wish the world were perfect so that your life would have been clean and shiny and lovely and would never have needed to bring you here. But I'm glad that we have each other now to rebuild all of that. YOU are incredible. YOU love Jesus with all of your heart. YOU are so pure and worthy and kind. It is such an HONOR to be your mother. The enormity of getting to call you my daughter is not lost on me. YOU are a precious gift to me and the rest of our family. We all just love you so much because YOU ARE LOVEABLE. If nothing else, sweet girl, remember that you are worthy of love. I will tell you every single day until you can drink in that truth and have it become part of your being. You are loved. You are loved. You are loved.
Happy Birthday Princess!
***Every year, I interview each of my kids on their birthday. Usually, I ask the same questions every year so that I can watch how their answers change from year to year. I can't wait to see how Scarlett changes and grows.***
Mom:What do you want to be when you grow up?
Scarlett: Ummm.. a teacher.
Mom: How come you want to be a teacher?
Mom: Because I think Ms. Holba is cool being a teacher and it makes me want to be a teacher.
Mom: Do you want to get married when you grow up?
Scarlett: *serious blushing* hmmm... no.
Mom: Do you want to have kids one day?
Mom: How many
Scarlett: Well, maybe four. Girls. I guess and boys.
Mom: What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Scarlett: That I be nice to other people and I let them play with my toys sometimes.
Mom: Yes, you are so kind.
Mom: What is your favorite thing to do at school?
Scarlett: Math and writing.
Mom: Not recess?
Scarlett: Oh yes! And recess!
Mom: What is your favorite joke?
Scarlett: What does the poop say to the pee? *giggles* Ummm, I need to go to the bathroom.
Mom: How do you like to spend your free time?
Scarlett: I like to play in my room and on the iPad. And sometimes I like to play outside if it's not cold.
Mom: You hate the cold don't you.
Scarlett: Yes. I hate the cold very much. I like it a lot hot.
Mom: What is your favorite thing about mommy?
Scarlett: I love you so much.
Mom: I love you so much, too!
Mom: What is your favorite thing about daddy?
Scarlett: Same thing.
Mom: Who are your best friends?
Scarlett: Alyssa, Lilly, Aricelli, Ariana, Preston, Emma Kate and Ann Marie and Avery at the big church and Avery at kindergarten.
Mom: What is your favorite holiday?
Scarlett: Halloween and Christmas.
Mom: You've never gotten to celebrate Christmas before.
Scarlett: I know I'm going to love it.
Mom: What is your favorite thing about having brothers and sisters?
Scarlett: That I get to love on them. And sometimes I have sleepovers in their rooms and that is fun.
Mom: What do you think that high school will be like?
Scarlett: Oh! Good!
Mom: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Scarlett: HERE! In this house. Cause I like this house very good.
Mom: If you could make up your perfect day and do anything you wanted, what would you do?
Scarlett: Spent time with my family and sometimes play with Sadie.
Mom: Do you feel older now that you are seven? What has been your favorite age you've ever been?
Scarlett: Yes! Ummm... twelve or thirteen.
color: yellow, blue, red, pink and purple
toy: my dolls. Bloom doll from the Winx Club
movie: Teen Beach Movie
TV show: The Winx
food: cake and rice and beans.
candy: all of it
book: Barbie books
song: We are the winx
sport: UK because that's what we like in my family (we have officially converted her)
ice cream: vanilla
Happy Birthday, Scarlett!