One year ago today our worlds united in Ethiopia and we became family. I can still remember the first time that I saw you as if it were yesterday; you proudly yet anxiously walked down the staircase that led to your room in the orphanage, hand in hand with the head nanny. You wore a beautiful dress (that I wish we could have kept) and the necklace that we sent you months before with your name on it. You were so beautiful and delicate, but your eyes told haunting stories of the past that are too heavy for a little girl to carry alone.
I cannot believe that a year has past since the first time that I looked into those eyes and held held you - it seems like a lifetime ago. In fact, it is often is hard to remember when you weren’t part of our family. It amazes me to think about how much you have grown in the last year - both physically, emotionally, and intellectually. You are talented in so many ways - a master of languages, a natural athlete, and above all - you have the most tender soul that enjoys helping and loving others. You also have a spirit for life and silliness that is unmatched.
I am so proud to be your mother and continue to learn the many life lessons that you are here to teach me. In our short year together, you have taught me: the value of forgiveness of both yourself and others, to pick your battles - because most aren’t worth fighting about, that living and loving someone that is so similar to yourself is hard but so worth it because you end up learning something about yourself, to pee outside without getting it all over your feet or clothes, to get back up after you have fallen, and that it’s never too late to have a happy childhood.
I also want to thank you for being patient with me while I learn to parent you and grow to love you more each day. I’m so proud of you in multiple ways and cannot wait to have many more adventures together. Today we celebrate our first year together, cheers to tomorrow and many more...