It’s been a while since my last actual post, and I guess I have been stalling until I had the guts to ask the next person I really wanted to write about, if it was okay that I write about her. I was so nervous to actually ask her but she gave me the okay to write about her tonight, then asked for money (what else is new kid?) lol.
I think she really needs to read what I think and how I feel about her, as much I feel I need to write about her and let her know what I think and how I feel.
For confidentiality purposes in this post she will be called D.
Now D is my hero in so many ways today as much as she was 5-6 years ago when I first met her. She has certainly been through more in 19 years than most people go through in a lifetime; and is still here, alive and fighting, which is something I am so proud of her for and so grateful for her as well. So grateful because without her alive and fighting for something better, I don’t think I could keep going on. After the numerous losses over the past 7 years, she is the one I’m betting it all on for the win to survive and make a beautiful life for herself (no pressure D, you got this!). I know that numerous people have counted her out over the years, but I haven’t. I haven’t because I know there is something great she has to offer this world, and I cant wait for her to figure it out and put all of the pieces together for herself.
I met D when she was just 14 years old, and man was she a pain in my ass! I feel we got along right away even though she was so rude and sarcastic towards me; id laugh I thought it was funny, and I think she caught onto that. D was/is very good at getting your attention by any means necessary in order to get what she wants ( for good or bad it doesn’t matter) I would get calls from the house where she lived to my desk and someone would say “D says she isn’t getting out of bed, isn’t going to school unless you come and wake her up and make her get out of bed”. So I would go to the house, bang on her door and tell her to put on clothes and cover herself in her blanket then walk in after a female worker. Id take the curtains down, then turn around and she would be sitting on her bed smiling and say “Good Morning Adam”..id say good morning and smile back and tell her to get moving to go to school. Sometimes she would go, lots of times she wouldn’t, but the house calls did happen weekly id say for quite a while. That’s one of my funniest memories of her just all young, but certainly not innocent 🙂
There have been a couple of memories of her for me that also were not very funny. On two separate occasions I have had to see D in the emergency room in pretty rough shape. During both I have been told that she had asked for me. I have never been so scared for someone in my life as seeing a 15 year old girl strapped to emergency room bed for her own safety, that is completely out of it. Just writing about it right now has me tearing up man. I don’t know if I have ever told her how scared I was that night ( and both nights) for her, but hopefully she reads it and gets the idea. After they told me to go home and I had reported it to the right people, I just went home and bawled and bawled. By this time she had me basically; meaning that I was invested in her life, her future, her failures and her successes, and she knew it. She was/is smart and she was invested in me too! She trusted me to help her when she needed it. That night I felt so helpless, not being able to fix her, to help her. I don’t know if that is how good youth workers are supposed to be, or if they are supposed to be strict and more professional but that’s not how I operate. If you devote your time to young people and build a relationship with them, I feel you don’t ever bail when things happen, you stick by them even after they may not be in your care. And in terms of emotions, yes sometimes keeping them in check is a must but sometimes just letting it out is just as powerful of a message.
I can remember when she came back from receiving help from another place for a bit, how happy she was to see me, and I her. She had made me some things while getting some help, including this piece of canvas that she had painted calling me “dad” and “bro” and thanking me for being there for her. “Dad” was my nickname pretty much forever with her. She would use it jokingly, or when she was angry with a sentence like “who do you think you are, my f**king dad”, and id laugh and say yes or no. If she came at me with that comment today I would reply like this: “I’m not your dad, you only have one of those, but I hope that one day if I ever have a daughter she is as tough, strong and amazing as you are”
I also remember the last time I saw her here in Thompson before she moved down south. This was about 4 years ago now maybe? She gave me a picture of herself (as she did to other people) and on the back again thanked me and told me she’d miss me and ended it with something like “love you, D.”. She also gave me what maybe was the hardest and tightest hug I have ever felt in my life. And so yeah, whatever ill admit it I may have welled up a bit lol. Underneath D’s tough front is a really very sweet and honest and real young lady. I have always missed not being close in location to her to see that side of her more often.
I am foster parent today, but before I was & several years ago I always said that if I had my choice, I would choose her in a heartbeat to be the first kid id foster. Even today I stand by that. We still keep in contact and over the years despite being so far away from one another, have become even tighter I feel. She is brutally honest with me about all of her struggles since her time here, and my heart breaks for her hearing what she says, but mends quickly just because I know how lucky I am that she confides in me with her hard stuff. I am so grateful for her, and our talks.
I guess id like to just finish this off by talking directly to D because I know that she needs to hear what I have to say, and its important that I let her know.
I love you. you are my hero.
Thank you for letting me into your life, when I know how difficult it must have been to do. I am always so inspired by you. I know one day that when you figure things out you will be unstoppable. Everything you have been through so far these 19 years is to show just how brave and tough and strong you are. You have not seen much of the world and all the good it has to offer you yet, but you will; you deserve the best. I am so glad you have never given up on people or yourself, when it would have be so easy to do so. I will always do what I can to help you see your potential and to reach it. I am so very proud of you today and everyday. I hope one day you think as highly of yourself as I think of you.
Thank you for being you, and no one else. Thank you for being a part of my life and letting me into yours. You are forever family to me and always welcome wherever I go or wherever I am. I got you, whether you’re doing well or not, I got you. Whenever anyone counts you out know that I am counting you in.
Again, I am so proud of you and the person you are today. I know your mama would be so proud as well; your pops too!
Don’t ever give up, you are so loved!