My daughter turns 10 today.
My daughter. The one who I just met two months ago. The one we prayed for, wished for, grew in our hearts. The one that makes me laugh, the one that is so smart, and funny, and artistic. The one that is starting to be boy crazy. The one I watch and guide while she navigates the ins and outs of the social system at school.
The one who is fiercely protective of her brother. The one who is struggling to wrap her head around the fact that this is IT. That we are her forever family, and that unlike when other 'foster' parents have told her that they were going to adopt her, we MEAN it.
The one who I watch when she's not looking, and learn her quirks, and ticks, and habits. The one who I strive to bond with over shopping trips. The one who has such a thick, curly head of hair, that it takes me an hour to straighten it.
The one who is starting to develop and find herself. To see herself for the beautiful, smart and confident girl she can be. The one who is realizing, slowly, that she has found her place.
The one I love.