How to explain an event and a person that changed my life? It’s not simple, but layered with many feelings and reasons about why and how I found Sally.
Like most parents, children are a core and central “raison d’etre”. And in my 44th year I knew that it was time to make a decision to have a child in my life. Since my immediate family all lived many miles away in California and foster care is such an immense need in our society, I decided to try fostering a child (with an opportunity to possibly adopt). I also decided I couldn’t take a baby- that childcare handled alone would be more than I thought I could handle. I was hoping to have a younger child, a young elementary school -aged girl. And fate and timing were in my favor, as my very first foster child was Sally.
I’ll never forget our first meeting. I went to the group home where 10 year old Sally was living and she showed me everything in her little room: each stuffed animal, each toy and each picture she had drawn. I was also told she had drawn pictures for every staff person there, in her inimitable heart-touching thoughtfulness and style. She came home with me soon after and our relationship grew. I have often said that we needed nine months to learn to love each other- like any child and Mom. I soon knew that I wanted to adopt Sally and she agreed, so she became my daughter and I her mother, forever. She was shy, soft-spoken, thoughtful, funny and curious about others. She never complained and rarely spoke about her very challenging past. She soon became an integral part of my life: our life together.
Although Sally’s past before she was mine is complicated and painful, maybe ours is a simple story after all. She is my resilient, spunky, smart, dramatic, beautiful daughter and our story is a love story, plain and simple.