I cried when I adopted her because she was the child of my dreams, my fantasies. She made me a mom.
I cried at every milestone because I was so proud. Everything she did was perfect in my eyes.
I cried at every birthday and threw my heart into making them special so I could see her smile.
I cried as I marvelled at her beauty, a type of beauty that would cause a stranger to stop and say, "Such a beautiful, poised and respectful and kind child." I would cry with pride at that.
I cried when I watched her lead the band on percussion, an extremely naturally talented young woman, the pide of her music teacher.
I cried when I saw her interact with her friends, whom she cherished, making them gifts, always, with a generous nature about her that drew raves from my friends.
Somewhere along the way I lost this child. Someone or something otherworldly took her from me and left in her place a 13 year old who is on her way to in inpatient psychiatric facility for emotionally troubled teens. I will go to court next week and stand up and tell the family court judge that we are beside ourselves with grief, but that "yes" I will agree to the placement as it has been explained to me that we have no choice at this point.
That child has been replaced with another who has mastered the art of manipulation. She lashes out. She stands up to her full height of 5'4 and stares down teachers and administrators, even police officers, therapists and judges, none of whom have been able to make an impact on her.
She doesn't play music anymore. I don't like her friends. My friends are not jealous of me now, in fact, they look away when they see me, they are sad for me.
I went to visit her the other week, the one time she consented to see me. Her hair was pink. She treated my with disdain, as usual. But I glanced over and there was a bin with her name on it in the common area. And in the bin I saw some yarn, and I saw that she had been making bracelets. She can knit with her fingers. She told me she had been making people bracelets and that they were a big hit...
And for a moment I saw my little girl who would hold up her hands, multi-colored yarn hanging down and dragging across the floor, and I could see her smiling at me and saying "Look what I can do? Look what I made mom. Do you want me to make you one?" And I would say sure, even though I already had about 80 of them. I always figured you could never have too many things that your child makes for you.
My little girl is in there somewhere. She is lost in there. Failing out of school, determined to drop out. Failing at relationships with other kids. Failing to show respect of any kind to anyone. They will take her, and they will help her, I can only hope.
And maybe someday I will find a way to stop crying these tears and I will instead cry tears of joy when my daughter comes home to me.