I just put another Hall’s cough drop in, and I noticed how red my lips were, and I had a flashback.
I was eleven years old and I just sat down at the dinner table. She looked at me and asked, “Are you wearing lipstick?” I told her I wasn’t and I even took the back of my hand and repeatedly wiped my mouth. I showed her my hand thinking she would be happy I wasn’t wearing lipstick, but instead, she was mad because my lips were that color. From that moment on I knew, I knew not to look pretty.
I knew she disliked me from the moment she laid eyes on me. I knew she hated the fact that I was his baby girl. She threatened me for years. Took things from me when I did nothing to deserve it. She wanted me dead. How do I know this? She told me numerous times growing up.
For years I wondered what I did. How did I make this woman so mad at me? Why did she hate me? For years I lived with these unanswered questions.
Then one day I overheard someone talking about foster care and how she grew up in horrible homes. Her mother was put in a psychiatric ward for drinking bleach. Her father abandoned her and her five siblings. They were split into different foster homes and hers were not the good ones. She lived through the unimaginable. Unimaginable things that many of my foster daughters have lived through.
It took me years to forgive, to understand…she was mad at me, jealous of me and the life I had. She never had that life.
She deserved an amazing life. All kids deserve an amazing life.
Twenty seven years later…
My dad brought her to my house last November. It was a few days after Halloween. I had three little foster daughters at the time. I’ve never seen her face light up like it did that day.
Hours after they left I received a phone call from her. “I wish I grew up in a foster home like yours when I was a little girl. You are doing a really good job.” she said. At first I was speechless and the first thing that came to my mind was foster care statistics. Yes, I started spouting off statistics to her.
Last year was the first Christmas I was able to go to their house without feeling anxious or upset. My stepmom hugged me and I mean she really hugged me. It was like a weight was lifted, a huge weight.
I’m sharing this today because forgiveness is an amazing thing. It sets you free…