Posted by: amica | June 6, 2010

Six Years and a Million Memories

I can’t believe it has been six years. In some ways it seems like yesterday, and in others it seems like so much longer.

Right now, 6 years ago, I was working a leadership conference that as a high school student in 1992, I had attended. My uncle had been raising M for the previous 4 years and H had been staying with a friend of his for a couple of months. The friend was getting in the way of my visits with H, as their mom, K, was contacting her from prison. K did NOT want me to have the kids, because she knew I wouldn’t hand them back when she got out until she proved she would stay clean. I spoke to her dad, my uncle, about my concerns that H was with this practical stranger and didn’t seem quite stable. So, on this day 6 years ago, my uncle picked up H, telling the lady we had a family reunion, and brought her and M to my parent’s house. I knew this was happening and I arrived not a couple of hours after they did. My uncle was then SUPPOSED to tell the lady that H wasn’t coming back but he didn’t. No call or anything to her so you can imagine the drama that followed. Needless to say, we ended up getting H’s belongings from the curb in front of the lady’s home.

At the time, I was living in dorm-like apartments as a full-time college student. I had left the corporate world to get my degree. I was majoring in International Politics and planned to help African women and children via a non-profit. But God told me there were two children in my own family that needed me more. I laughed at that, I had no job and no place for us to live. God wasn’t laughing, He was quite serious and within two weeks these kiddos were being brought to me. My parents moved into my grandmother’s vacant home and allowed us to stay in the home I was raised in. They were planning that move anyway and put off the sale of the house for us. I took the first job that came along, working for a crazy woman who had a no-kill shelter INSIDE HER MANSION! It paid well for what it was and I needed money ASAP. My friends were amazing, Elisha took clothing donations at her work, another bought all their school supplies, people were offering support from every direction. It was about a year before I went back to work with my previous (before college) company and we moved 12 hours away to El Paso.

There were signs of RAD from day one, if I had known about RAD, that is. H walked in the door the first day and announced, I am going to live with you. No one had told her this. She twirled her hair and batted her eyelashes and conned little boys into closets – she was 3. M has always been the master of manipulation, making me feel guilty in 5 seconds flat. Our first trip to the park and a man was selling ice cream. I had no cash on me and I was ok with M sitting there sulking. The man actually walked by and asked us if we wanted some, and M piped up “My MOM won’t let me…” Mom? Mom? He called me Mom!!! I dug in my purse and paid that man with nickels and pennies. I hadn’t been called Mom before….and I wouldn’t again for quite a long time.

It has been a roller-coaster ride, full of discoveries, both good and not so good, but every time I feel like it is just too much – I try to imagine if I hadn’t listened to God and never got them 6 years ago today. It takes my breath away at the thought. People, over the years, have told me to give them back, it’s too much for one person to handle, they didn’t come with warning labels. I smile at them all, and then tell them to do the same with their children. They look at me shocked and say it isn’t the same. But it is, in every way that matters, it is. These are MY children, the good days and the bad days, the smiles and the tears, they are all mine. My heart knows this, love isn’t about how things came to be, who brought them into this world, who deserves what titles, it is about sticking it out in the good and bad. Choosing to see the good under the fear and anger. Through everything, I know these children were made for me and that I endured all that I have previous so that I would be prepared for them. Because I was made for them too.

Happy 6th Anniversary my loves, I am only sorry I didn’t find you sooner!



  1. I think I have similar feelings. The kids are YOURS and you wouldn’t want it any other way, but some days you wonder how you are going to make it to bedtime! At least that is how it works for me.

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