Monday, July 6, 2015

On Your 5th Birthday (A Letter to Xiomara)

Happy 5th birthday to our always smiling, compassionate, gymnastics loving, full of life, happy, animal loving, and still my baby girl Xiomara Marie.

5. I am not handling 5 well at all darling! I keep staring at this picture thinking there is no way you are that grown up! What happened to my baby?!? Meanwhile, you have been counting down this day for weeks. Planning it out in your mind with a thousand different things you want to do today. That describes your personality so well! Just a desire to live your life to the fullest in all you do. But I just can't wrap my head around the fact that you are now one whole hand. How is it that the teeny tiny baby we met on a hot day in Georgia is now this vivacious little girl who captures the hearts of all around her?

This year has been a growing year, both physically and emotionally. Not only have you gotten taller, but you have grown up emotionally. You match Meridian in height now, and because you are so close in age to you sister, you like to do everything she does. Last year you felt like so much of a baby, but this year you grew up before our very eyes. You talk like a big girl now, you are completely out of diapers during the day (we still are working on those nights), you sit for school like a big girl. You also proudly just lost your first tooth! Part of me looks at you and wishes I could have my baby back, but the other part of me is so proud of the big girl you have become. I am thankful that you still love to snuggle with your mama and even though I try so hard to get you to stop sucking your thumb, that thumb reminds me you are still little.

This past year you got to do preschool in homeschool with mama. You were so proud of yourself for sitting down at the table each day and doing your school work. I'll never forget how excited you were when you figured out you could write your whole name by yourself. School was slow going, but I remind myself you are only in preschool. We are not in a rush and being that you are a summer birthday, you will be in preschool once again next year.

At 5, yellow is your favorite color! You don't get really get dressed in the morning. Instead, you wake up and either put on a swimsuit or a dress up dress and that is all we see you in the rest of the day. You live and breathe gymnastics! You don't just walk around, but instead go around the house doing cartwheels, round-offs, and any other gymnastic move you can think of. Everyday you ask me if today is a gymnastics class day. You grab my iPad, put on a song and do gymnastics moves to the whole thing. You have so much talent in gymnastics little girl. Remember that talent comes from God, and you have an opportunity to use that talent for good. If you aren't doing gymnastics, you are outside playing with our chickens, dog, or cats. You LOVE animals and have a gentleness with them that I have never seen before. When you grow up you tell me you want to be a gymnastics person like Gabby Douglas, or you want to be a Vet and work on animals. You are a definite people person! You thrive on engaging with others. You have this amazing and unique ability to connect with others and put a smile on their face with your vibrant, joyful personality! You also have a compassionate heart for the hurting, whether it be hurt animals or hurting people, you reach out to them with your whole heart. I have seen you this past year go on adventure hikes around our yard, or play quietly by yourself with your Legos. You have quite the imagination that I've enjoyed seeing emerge this year. Your favorite food is pizza. I hope I never forget about how you make sure everyone knows about your one special curl and no one can ever cut that! It is an adorable curl!

Please note her one special curl that goes in front of her eye. She loves it!

I know this past year you have been forced to grow up faster than either of us would have liked. No 5 year old should have to face the kind of loss you have faced this past year in losing your birthmama. I'm so sorry honey. If I could take that pain from you, I would. I know and love how much you love her. She will always be special to you no matter how much time passes. I will also always remind you of the words she told me on that July day when she lovingly handed you to me, "Always love her no matter what, and please never let her forget that I love her". You are a blessed little girl Xiomara. So many people love you so much and I still feel amazed that I get to be your mama. I love you and Happy 5th Birthday sweetheart!