The One with the Letter to Raeya

Oh sweet Raeya Vivian. Our “Ray of Vibrant Light.” And that you are girl, that you are. You color outside the lines on purpose and you call it art. You don’t walk, you run. You snuggle and get into everyone’s personal space. You keep us laughing with your jokes and “stubbornness”.

You’re my free one.

We’ve asked a lot of you this year, haven’t we? You were our baby…just 2 1/2 when suddenly you had to adjust to make room for our first foster child who was just 18 months younger and who needed that safety and time of a healthy mom attachment. That meant you had to grow up a bit. We all did. But we know for you, it was likely the hardest.

And yet.

You’ve been the most flexible. The easiest to include, share, and adapt.

I want to grieve a bit the times you were sandwiched in the middle and I might not have picked up on the ways you were growing. But you’re patient with us and you seem to enjoy the closeness that’s required with being in the middle. You’ve never known a life without a sister and I think you like it that way. (Your crocodile tears when Maeve started kindergarten confirm this to be true). I’ve realized your wiring is a gift to us. You balance us out.

One day this past winter you wrote your name. I hadn’t once taught you your letters. I remember the pain-staking task I took to get Maeve to get over her perfectionism and just write her name before age 3. But you, dear one, must have learned it in preschool (or maybe Maeve taught you) when I was busy with our new status as foster parents. I want to feel sad and sorry that I missed that but the truth is, I’m proud of you. I’m proud that you roll with the punches and you don’t take life so seriously. You sacrifice without knowing it and you might just be the most compassionate kid I’ve met.

If Maeve is my old soul, sweet Raeya you’re brand new.

So, thank you my Ray of Sunshine. For giving up your status as the baby, for loving your sisters with fierce clingy-ness, and for giving us grace when we missed things this year. Thanks for showing me how to love, change and shift without warning if it means wholeness for others.

I want to see my world through your eyes,

express my love in ways that our messy,

be authentically creative and not feel the need to label it

and embrace the unknown with zest,

just like you.

May you continue to embody the meaning of your name… a beloved ray of vibrant light. That you are, girl. Thank you are.

“Daughter” Sleeping At Last
If only you knew
The sunlight shines a little brighter,
The weight of the world’s a little lighter,
The stars lean in a little closer
All because of you.

I want to see
You lift your chin a little higher,
Open your eyes a little wider,
Speak your mind a little louder,
’cause you are royalty.

This is your kingdom,
This is your crown,
This is your story.
This is your moment,
Don’t look down..

You’re ready, born ready.
And all you gotta do
Is put one foot in front of you.
Our ceiling is your floor,
And all you gotta do
Is put one foot in front of you,
If only you knew.

If only you knew
The forests grew a little greener,
The roots reach in little deeper,
The birds all sing a little sweeter,
All to welcome you.

I want to see
Your happily ever after,
That you know in your heart that you matter,
That you are royalty.

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