I wasn't there.
I missed those first breathes, the first cry. I didn't get to see her tiny 4 pound, 12 ounce body adjust to the World it just entered. Other people saw her eyes, touched her skin, fed her body months before I did.
The day I met her wasn't her birthday, but it was mine.
Everything I thought I knew about life and love and magic didn't come close to the reality of her weight in my arms. I had waited, planned, prayed for years for that exact moment and in an instant she turned my World upside down. Who I am was born the day she came home to me.
Josie was born without any prenatal care in the back of an ambulance to a woman who didn't acknowledge her exsistence. Nurses cared for her, then a foster mom, then a caseworker, then me. She's been defying odds since day one and every breath she takes proves that miracles happen.
This year has been big for my girl.
She traveled the country, from friends to family, while her brother had open heart surgery and was hospitalized for a month. She had to pack up the only house she knew and say goodbye to lifelong friends when we moved her 1600 miles away. She lost her Uncle who was her favorite person on the planet. She not only started a new school, but started school in general, for the first time.
All these events were hard for me as her Mother and I can't even imagine how her little mind processed them all, but she did.
She's been a rock through it all. Teaching me how to feel the emotion without letting it take you under. My baby, my best girl.
She's grown inches and began the journey into, gulp, Tweenhood.
She reads and writes and has crushes and, Lord help me, has major opinions on fashion.
Sometimes I look at her and think she's left all things childish behind. So I'm thankful that she still needs her Soft Blank to fall asleep and still needs Andrew to hold her when she's nervous. I'm glad that, while her face is changing all the time, she still has those cheeks that I kissed her first morning with us.
I know all Moms are proud of their children, but I'm going to say it anyways.
I'm proud of who Josie is.
Brave, smart, original. Kind, sensitive, funny.
Happy Birthday Josie Kathryn. You're going to reach the stars.