Two years of firsts
She came to me almost two years ago. She really didn’t have much. My husband and I put her few boxes and suitcase in my van and drove her from where she was at to our home.
It was awkward- the first car ride. I do remember telling her that first day – “I don’t care about where you came from, my job is to get you moving forward”
She was just a 16 year old foster kid I was asked to help. Scared, a lot shocked and nervous as all get out. Those first days, I just wanted her to be safe and comfortable. No thoughts of forever – just get through each day one at a time.
Her past story is not mine to tell but I do want to share this…
She is no longer “just a foster kid”- she shares my last name. She is my daughter. I didn’t get a lot of the firsts that most moms get. The first words, the first steps, the first day of kindergarten. Nope I missed out on all that.
I did get her first day of her senior year, prom, first belle dance, first shopping spree, first Via Colori, first trip to Philly, first train ride, first go kart experience, first driving lesson, high school graduation (with honors mind you), first going away to summer camp (or precollege), first body piercing, first tattoo, first visit to grandmom and pop pop and the day she changed her name to mine.
This weekend – we celebrate another first – her first day of college. See- I really didn’t care where she came from, I was never part of that story. If that makes me horrible, so be it. But I can’t change the past. And I will be damned if I allow her to be defined by it. She can be defined by her bravery and determination. Her intelligence and resilience. She gets to define her future.
As she leaves for college, I care about the “forward movement” because she is a part of my story and has been since that day almost two years ago.
I am proud to be called her mother. I still hate her taste in music and most of her recipes taste like gym socks and sadness but she is my daughter so I guess I have to suck it up.
She leaves this weekend with a lot more than she came with – including me. I may tell her that I hope college slaps her right in her teenage face but she knows that she will always have family to come home to. And she better come home. We may not be perfect, but we are hers. This college thing is a first I can celebrate. Because it is another first in a long line of firsts to come.
Dusty June Sriavo
Foster Parent/Via Colori Event Coordinator/Director of Development and Recruitment for New Beginnings Family Services