I Am Proud of Her!

February 18, 2019 47 Comments

2019

Spring 2018

My third daughter turned 21 last week. It is a huge milestone for any parent and child. I am raising children who have been hurt beyond imagining and many of my children come from biological families in which alcoholism and drug use is the norm, so having a child reach the legal drinking age gives me pause.

Clara, however, is very, very clear with herself and her friends and family that she is not going to fall into the stereotypes of either her Mexican heritage, nor her Native American heritage that “they are all drunks.” She is charting a course for her own life that embraces the positives of her biological inheritance. She had time on her birthday with friends and family that was just relaxed, talkative hanging out time. If she drank, she didn’t tell me. But if she did, she did not lose herself. She felt like her birthday was a really nice day.

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A few weeks ago, Clara and I were searching through paperwork for some school records that she needed for her enrollment at her college and she ran across the box that has all of her foster care court documents as well as all the disclosure records pre-adoption… medical, placements, etc. She has never seen them before and was skimming through a few pages. She looked up at me and said with a laugh, “Geez, I was a problem child.” I chuckled with her and told her I’d do it over and over again. She declined to take the box with her… “I’m too busy with school and work for that right now.”

About an hour after she left, I figured out what I should have told Clara…. “You were not a problem child! You were a little girl who had a world of problems that the adults put on you and you survived using every skill you had.” I sent her a quick text telling her that. She responded, “Thanks. I love you so much, Mom.”

This! I need to remember to include this in my own daily self talk when I am tired and worn from what the kids are doing here at home. These beautiful children are using every skill they have to survive the pain that periodically floods them, or the brain synapse malfunctions that formed during early abuse. They are not the problem and they WILL continue to learn new skills and to survive and to thrive into adulthood.

As Clara’s birthday came and went, I realized that I was proud of all of my older daughters. Some days were pure fire and fury in the house when they were all teenagers here at home. Beatrice and Clara and Dixie, all adopted, are three completely different personalities. If they had met out in the world (and not been adopted into one family), they would never have hung out together…. different friends, different tastes, different interests…. and all with stubborn, hot tempers. As young adults, they are still all different, but now that they are not living together, they enjoy each other. Clara got lots of loving and lots of support on her birthday from her sisters.

And my heart was happy.

~~~~~

If you want to read more about any of the kids’ journeys, click on their name under categories to the right –>
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February 21, 2019

47 Comments

  1. Reply

    Magan

    August 15, 2019

    Your post is my favorite read this week! She is a beautiful lady, and it sounds like she has persevered through some trials, with your awesome support, to become a lovely young lady. What a blessing.

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Thank you so much, Magan! Clara is a wonderful young woman! She still lives with trauma and will spend a lifetime mitigating some of it’s effects, but she has a good grounding and a good support system and I’m proud of her!!!

  2. Reply

    Laura Lee

    August 15, 2019

    You’re doing such an amazing job and your children are lucky to have you.

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Thanks, Laura Lee! I’m lucky to have them, too. My life would be empty without them and I wouldn’t even know why. I’m blessed!

  3. Reply

    Michele

    August 15, 2019

    She is lovely, and it sounds like she has a great head on her shoulders and I have no doubt she will make her mark on the world! You are doing a great job with your kiddos!

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      I know I’m biased, but I, too, think she is lovely! She has been an important part of my own personal growth, so I am blessed that she was entrusted to me!

  4. Reply

    Cindy

    August 14, 2019

    Happy birthday to your daughter! And what an amazing realization you had. They are all surviving as best they can using all the skills that they have. That really puts things in perspective.

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Thanks, Cindy! I am constantly being reminded about how we all learn and grow in spite of and sometimes because of the life experiences we’ve had. I am still growing because of these kids.

  5. Reply

    Robin Frields

    August 14, 2019

    Great job, Mama! She sounds like an exceptional woman.

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Thank you, Robin. She has a good head on her shoulders. She’s still learning (as are we all!).

  6. Reply

    Tiffany

    August 13, 2019

    Your daughter is so lucky to have you! Congrats on the milestone of 21!

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Thank you, Tiffany. I’m lucky to have her in my life!

  7. Reply

    Stacey Billingsley

    August 13, 2019

    I’m glad she had a nice birthday! I have a 21-year-old, and I don’t know where the time went. Our journey in high school felt so long at the time. Now I wonder how it went by so quickly!

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Oh, yes! That high school journey fraught with SO much! I’ve shepherded 4 through high school now. It’s kind of a cool time despite the drama.

  8. Reply

    Nicole Cruze

    August 13, 2019

    So heartwarming!❤

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Thank you, Nicole.

  9. Reply

    Jasmine

    August 13, 2019

    This is a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Well thank you, Jasmine! Thanks for coming over to read.

  10. Reply

    Jennifer Morrison

    August 13, 2019

    What a lovely story of a life that is focused. All of my children are adopted, and so thankful that they have set good courses for their lives. It takes a lot of work, but is so worth it.

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      It is a story I love. I will always worry about my grown kids, but all are in relatively safe/stable places. Not necessarily what I would have chosen, but satisfied that trauma doesn’t have the upper hand most of the time.

  11. Reply

    Christina Furnival Real Life Mama

    August 13, 2019

    What a milestone birthday for a girl who has been through it all. How special. 🙂

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Yes, yes, yes. 🙂

  12. Reply

    Lisa Manderino

    August 13, 2019

    That is awesome, such kind words that melt my heart! Happy Birthday to your daughter so glad she is making and thriving!

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Thank you, Lisa. I truly am proud of her!

  13. Reply

    Haley Kelley

    August 13, 2019

    My husband and I are working on taking in 3 family members kids who come from a home with violence and substance abuse and these stories always inspire me knowing that we can make a difference!

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Sweet! And good on you! It won’t be easy. The years are fraught with sorry and tears and ANGER! But also the sweetest moments and joy that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Please keep me in mind if you ever want to bounce things off an impartial 3rd party!!!! Email is Moreonmyplate@outlook.com

  14. Reply

    Suzan

    August 13, 2019

    Beautiful. I love that you shot her out that text. I find do the same with my 22 year old…think of what I should have said and then say it.

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      ALL the time! Right? She does the same to me, though often it’s random thoughts with a little ding on my phone at about 1am. LOL I keep trying to tell her to write the text, but send it in the morning. I don’t turn my phone off at night in case any of my kids need me (adult kids), so I always hear that little ding. Still…. I’m glad she can turn to me!

  15. Reply

    Heather

    August 13, 2019

    Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter! You both have so much to be proud of. What a gift you have given her.

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Thank you, Heather. She has given me SO much more, but knowing the tough, tough journey she has been on, I am very, very proud of her!!!!

  16. Reply

    Tiffany

    August 12, 2019

    Happiest birthday to her! Pretty wise for her 21 years!

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Thank you, Tiffany. Yes, she is pretty amazing young woman. She still lives with the trauma and grief on many, many days, but has so many skills to that hare moving her from survival to thriving!

  17. Reply

    Melissa Jones

    August 12, 2019

    It’s so fun and hard to watch them become adults!

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      It truly is, Melissa! There have been SO many times during hard, hard trauma reactions that I would fear and despair of her (and my others) future. But she has done such hard work (that I didn’t do until I was in my 30’s) and I am proud of her!!!!

  18. Reply

    Katherine Wolfe

    August 12, 2019

    You should be proud of her. She sounds amazing! Good work, Mama!

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Thank you, Katherine! I AM very proud of her. She is a pretty cool young woman and I am glad we made it through the “I hate you. You’re not my real mother.” stage through tween/teen years. LOL We now have such deep conversations sometimes.

  19. Reply

    Lora

    August 12, 2019

    What a beautiful sentiment! Sounds like she has become a wonderful young woman.

  20. Reply

    Margaret

    August 12, 2019

    What a wonderful young lady with unlimited potential before her! It sounds as if all of your children are blessings to each other and to you.

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      You nailed it! Blessing upon blessing upon blessing.

  21. Reply

    Angela

    August 12, 2019

    Ah, so sweet. Your text had me all teary up! Good job – both of you!

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Thanks, Angela. She’s my love!

  22. Reply

    Beth Balberchak

    August 12, 2019

    What a wonderful relationship you have with your daughter! She’s beautiful. I wish her the best in the next journey of her life. <3

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Thank you, Beth! I am SO glad she is a piece of my life!

  23. Reply

    Melissa Parcel

    August 12, 2019

    Good for her! I have a son about ready to turn 21, it is an important milestone to take seriously and it sounds like she has done just that.

    • Reply

      Karla

      August 16, 2019

      Launching our kids is not one big bang. It’s piece by piece and hoping that the steps you’ve taken with them are enough to let them take their own. Parent scary!!!! 🙂

  24. Reply

    Fran

    March 3, 2019

    She is beautiful.you did an amazing job n so proud that she has become a wonderful awesom young lady.

    • Reply

      Karla

      March 3, 2019

      She did as much as me…. more! It takes a lot of strength to keep going when things are tough! She is amazing!

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