OK, can you tell this is going to be a story about a princess? Yes, and since our little princess looked something like Merida from Brave, I thought I would show her picture first ... in reality, our princess' story is really more like Sara Crewe's, from A Little Princess .... and Sara Crewe said it so well, when she told Miss Minchen:
"I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren't pretty, or smart, or young. They're still princesses. All of us. Didn't your father ever tell you that? Didn't he?"
Well, our little princess was given the name Esperanza, which means 'hope' in Spanish ... she was named for a beloved paternal grandmother ... sounds like a lovely beginning for a story, right?
She was my granddaughter, born to my adopted daughter L, who sadly suffered from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. L was a beautiful girl, but her abilities to function and cope were very limited. Thus when L found herself pregnant soon after the breakup of her marriage, it wasn't long until the state, kindly, stepped in and ordered her three daughters into foster care. Of course extended family is always the preferred placement.
Thus we took on three sweet bewildered little girls, and they lived with us for 7 months, until L had her baby, and her workers helped to set her up in a nice home, under the wing of a volunteer women's organization that tried to help such young mothers.
The support system somehow failed, and within 6 months the four little girls were in separate adoptive homes. We were heart broken when we learned what had happened, just a year after we had kissed their sweet faces goodbye, but there was no recourse.
Then less than a month ago, (15 years later) we heard from Esperanza's (though she has a new adoptive name, I will refer to her as E) case worker, telling us the adoption had failed some 6 years ago, and E had been in foster care since.
She had still had visitation with her adoptive family until last year, when personal issues of their own lead them to decline including E in their Thanksgiving plans. She was devastated, and begged her long time case worker to help her find her 'real' family.
Thus we were able to meet this gentle teenager last week for lunch ... she said she had no recollection of living with us, other than the week long boating trip she and her sisters went on with us that summer.
She also said she has very few pictures of her early adoptive years, and would love to see pictures of her time with us.
Thus was born the idea of a Smash Book for E ...
We will be meeting with her again next week, and will present her with this little book of memories.
This page features a picture of her being held by her uncle who was graduating from the same high school she would attend some10 years later.
The girls were living with us when we moved to our current home, what a sad adventure that must have been for three little girls who were already missing their mother.
I am a big believer in scrapbooks, I believe they celebrate lives, focusing on the good, and reminding us of happy times. I hope that E will be able to see how cherished she is, and that our future associations will help her learn her own wonderful value.
Please pray for a happily ever after for us all! Thank You.