Saturday May 15th
This is the original date Guillianna was scheduled to leave camp. She left six days ago. It was one of many things we at camp Nana tried to do in an attempt to make the transition to her new life and her HOME easy and comfortable.
It is four in the morning and as I sit up night after night I want to tell all of my daughters something they may not have fully known until now. Years ago all five lost a mother. They felt alone or abandoned and in bringing all five to this country we tried to keep them together and make some sense of the heart ache and loss they felt.
The thing is I want them to know something I have learned first hand this past week. Not just words spoken- but felt first hand –
I have stepped into a role with Guillianna where for fifteen months of her seventeen month life I acted as a temporary or ‘foster’ parent. I can promise each and every daughter leaving you was the hardest thing your mother could have ever done! I can promise you she did not leave by choice! I can promise you that you were not and never will have been abandoned. THESE ARE NOT JUST WORDS. it is the voice of a woman who came to your lives as yes -another parent – to foster her love within your hearts because your mother WHO LOVED YOU MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF let you go to become the young women you are today!
Feeling what it is to let go – and give opportunity to another when it means your own heart breaks is a feeling I now can appreciate in it’s most true form. It makes me understand how much your parents- your family- in a world so far away loved thier children. They wanted for you the very best! They wanted you to have opportunity. They loved you – and still do! Just as we love Guillianna we want her to flourish and grow with her mom and dad! All of those whose hearts have been forever touched now know the meaning of personal sacrifice for the greater good of someone else. Please always remember this time you have all spent with Guillianna and how hard it was for your mother to say good bye. Then know the happiness that would be hers in knowing where you are today. The things you have learned along the way and the love you have found in your new home!
Your brother – your father and I started this journey together more than sixteen years ago. We became a family and we have all gleaned so much.
None of us can predict what the future will bring. Happiness and good things are always our hope. I just really wanted to convey that I am a woman of my word as all of you know. I now can attest to you feelings and emotions that may have sounded like -JUST words- before or- momisms- that you thought well ‘parents just say’ – I am here to attest that you were never abandoned. The love it took and the pain associated in leaving a child – a child still young – is HUGE! Your parents gave you to us. Look at you now! How lucky we all are to have been part of this journey!
Is there pain? Is there heart ache? Has it been a very hard road and was there transition and trauma? Yes. I look to why it began often and questioned so many times were we being fair- how will it all work and will they survive the changes brought to each of thier lives our son included?
To each child- I say what I want to say is thank you- for letting us be ‘temporary’ love and nurturing in a world where kids grow so fast and break out into separate journeys of thier own. We as parents never ever intend to hurt you or hold you back. We never look for ways to embarrass you or make you feel small. We do the very best we can in situations that we may or may not bring upon ourselves. We love – we share what we have learned from our parents. Then we then learn from our kids! Along the way- we sneak in a few brief moments to cherish those are the things that get us through the times that feel unbearable.
For the campers not seeing Guillianna as you have these past months it feels unbearable in your heart- until you remind yourself of where she is right now and how good she has it finally being with her parents. Know you too that you were not left by a parent – but instead in a new place where you had more opportunity and could still be loved! Something before this experience that may have felt like lip service or just words CLEARLY they are not. It’s been an honor to be a small part of it all. I love you Nick,I love you Mikayla, I love you Alyxandra, i love you Allyssa and I love you Arrianna. You’ve made dad and I so very proud in this past year sharing your love with Guillianna and in all you do!
As for your sister Mackenzie, we clearly have loved beyond measure! However now she knows first hand – because she has a child of her own – she will understand….. And will have learned the depth of love parents have! That they, parents, never abandon or intentionly set out to make life painful or difficult they do the very best they can.
May each of you work through the heart ache of missing the Guge as well as any other issues brought about by our attempt at raising each of you. And keep the promise dad and I have made- a promise of love for each of you in your hearts forever!
All of my love – Mom