I haven’t done a birthday post for quite some time. But today Summer turns 13 and I cannot fail to mark such a special day.
They say that the days are long and the years are short, and until you have children you really don’t appreciate the truth of it. It seems barely a moment since the day we tentatively pushed open the door of the foster carers sitting room. Our hearts were in our mouths as we savoured the moment of seeing our daughter for the very first time.
Our journey to adoption wasn’t littered with pain and heartbreak as it is for so many. I was nearly 40 when I met Dave and both of us had remained childless for so long, it was odds on that we would have fertility issues.
It turned out to be a blessing rather than a curse, because it brought this amazing girl, and her darling brother, into our lives. I say that they were always ours, they were just delivered to the wrong address!
Time stopped at our first meeting. I remember how Summer’s face lit up when she saw us. How during that first hour she called me Mama for the first time (the foster carer had worked hard with a little book of photos so she’d know who we were when we met). How she fell asleep in Dave’s arms, peaceful and safe.
Bridging ( the process of getting her accustomed to us) was supposed to take 2 weeks, but she was having none of it, and was home with us within 7 days.
And our world changed for the better.
It’s not been an easy ride. We have had to fight hard to get her diagnoses and the accompanying support. She calls me her Battle Bear. I carry that with more pride than I can articulate.
But she is the warrior. She has fought back from a terrible start in life, and challenges that would floor grown men, to become a most beautiful person.
She is kind and funny. Smart as a whip and able to find the loophole in any argument. Fierce in her defence of justice, and intuitively gentle with animals. She is beloved by her friends and intolerant of bullies.
Equally happy to wield power tools to help Dave with DIY, or a food mixer to make bread or buns, she is fabulously practical. I love having her helping in the sewing room and at the weekend she was helping me caulk gaps in the ensuite ready for decorating.
She is, in short, our joy. Her name is not one we would have even considered, it was her gift from her birth mother. We couldn’t have chosen better for her. As a little school friend wisely said, aged 5, “Summer has the most perfect name because she lights up the world”.
Happy birthday, darling girl. Every day you surprise and amaze me (and get on my very last nerve). Keep being the wonderful girl you are. I cannot wait to see the woman you’ll become. I know she’ll be strong, wise, kind and gentle. You are wonderful and we all love you more than we have words to say.