Today is the final day of the Slice of Life challenge. I have not written every day, but I have come close. I have done much better than a previous attempt and WAY better than not trying. I will take that as a win.
Tomorrow, I drive another 824 miles to bring Alexis home. It seems an appropriate time to share our story. If you have heard this before, no need to read on. But, if not, hopefully this will warm your heart as it has mine.
Alexis's mom is a friend of our oldest daughter. They went to junior high and high school together. Their friendship, as is often the case, had its ups and downs.
Alexis was born approximately a year after the two girls graduated high school. Jen is Alexis's godmother. With this decision, our lives were forever entwined.
Fast forward a tad over 2 years later.
Alexis's mom contacts us to let us know they are homeless - and she is pregnant. We invited them to stay with us for a week which led us to offering to have Alexis stay with us while her mom got a job and a place to live.
Alexis became a member of our family that day. Not legally but in every other way. She lived with us until she was for almost four years - until she was just about six years old, at which time she went to live with her mother in MN.
Interesting bit of information - one state does not necessarily honor an agreement written in another state.
We did not see Alexis for two years.
But, we were reunited 25 months later and have been a part of each other's life every since. Alexis spends a good part of her summer with us as well as one other break (Christmas, Spring Break - -whatever works). She has been the flower girl at two of our children's weddings. She is a god-sister to my grandson. In every way that matters, Alexis is one of mine. I love her no differently than if I birthed her.
Having Alexis in our life has been a blessing many times over. Don't get me wrong. It has not always been easy. Our life changed when she came to live with us. My husband and I were in our fifties, approaching empty-nest - ism.
And when we didn't see each other for two years - -
I don't think I realized how deeply I was affected until she came back into our lives.
I vividly remember a conversation with my father, in which he told me, "The more people you love, the more you have to lose."
I have loved and lost this young girl. But, if I had to do it all over again, I would. Because it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.
Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for this opportunity to share a Slice of my Life.