I wish I could show you how beautiful Flower is. She is stunning, as in model pretty. What is even more beautiful than her appearance is her heart. Her bravery, determination, and positivity. I admire her. Last Friday, she shared with me some gut-wrenching parts of her Story, of what she came from and why she ran. This child has endured things no one should endure, and still her light shines. I told her how very sorry I was that her life has been so hard, and she has been hurt by so many people who are supposed to love her. She looked at me and said, “I do not keep record of all the people who have hurt me. In the Bible, it says we are to give thanks to God for all the things that happen in our lives, good and bad, as it is part of His plan for us.” I needed to sit down. I don’t think she understands the enormity of what she is able to put into spiritual practice. I’ve always believed that being able to stay grateful always is the path to Nirvana, and Flower is on her way there. As I said, I admire her.

Last week, we had an incident where I sent Stinky to his room for hitting this little brother, who was being admittedly very annoying. Flower came to me, apologized for being in the middle of my business, and asked if I would possibly reconsider talking to Stinky, instead of banishing him from the family, as she didn’t like seeing anyone hurting or in trouble. Stinky and I had a good talk, he came out of his room and righted his wrong, and thanked Flower for coming to bat for her. Her heart is so tender, so full of concern for others, even though she’s mostly raised herself.

Monday night, my heart was full of all the beautiful things I am coming to know about my foster daughter. Like I told her, “I see you, all of you, how beautiful you are inside, and all your possibilities.” My head was buzzing with all of these things as I went into a planning meeting with agency staff and Flower’s mother. Our goal was to set a plan for Flower for the next few months and assign everyone’s role in that plan. The meeting didn’t go very well. Flower hasn’t lived with her mother since she was two, as her mother had to leave her behind when she came to this country for work. There is so very much resentment between the two of them, and family counseling isn’t helping to create a bond between the two of them. The relationship is volatile and it makes me so sad, thinking of my own daughter who is estranged from me. There were several tense moments when Flower’s mother said some negative things and made hurtful accusations about her daughter, and I couldn’t help myself but to intervene. I had to say something, and so I quietly, but forcefully, disagreed. Keeping my mouth shut has never been my strong suit, and it gets harder the older I get. I just couldn’t sit still and watch this girl, who I am working so hard to put back together, be chastised for things that simply aren’t true. I don’t think I made much progress on a positive relationship with Flower’s mother, but I did show Flower that I love and will protect her, and ultimately, that is my job. I did reiterate to Flower after the meeting, when she was upset and venting, that she can be angry with her mother, but she must be respectful, and we talked about what that looks like when speaking about someone.

As it stands, the agency has let us know that Flower will likely be with us a good while longer. They are working with us to reduce the amount of appointments and commitments she has every week, as I’ve asked. We are thrilled to have her. She is a kind, hard-working girl with a good head on her shoulders who simply wants to be part of a family and go to school so she can create a life for herself. I am beyond grateful that we were sent such a sweet child who fits so well into the fabric of our family. The Universe knew what it was doing when it sent Flower to us. We are blessed by her, and I hope we can return the gift and be the family she needs.