When I was eight-years-old, my class had to write letters to Santa. I think the letters were just put in our boxes for our parents to pick up. My CASA, Eileen, gave me this letter when I was 16. I have kept it in my Lifebook since then. I haven't looked at it in years because every time I do I feel like burning it. The rest of my class asked for toys. I asked for a family.
Maggie and Tim were my foster parents for a little over three years. I had just moved to their house and I was hoping they would keep me when I wrote this letter. Earlier this year Maggie found my sister who gave her my information. She writes to me occasionally wanting to connect. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm not sure what her motivation is. I can't write about them yet, but maybe I will have some courage after therapy tomorrow. Maggie and Tim changed my life forever. They promised to adopt me but it didn't work out. I'm not sure if that was for the best or worst. Would I be more damaged or less damaged if I stayed with them? Maybe I would just be a different kind of damaged. I guess I will never know.
Is there a Santa that a 20-something can write to? Is there a Santa that can make a family want me? Family is still what I wish for every Christmas and every day of my life. It's a void that will never be filled. It's an ache that can never be cured. I still dream about waking up Christmas morning to the sound of my family talking and laughing. I stumble out of bed, in my pj's and messy hair, and tiptoe through the hallway past an array of family photos--family photos that I am included in. I've never been in a family photo besides a few photos with my siblings and those only happened because my CASA was a hero. I walk into the living room and watch my family for a moment before I join them. "Good morning, sleepy head," my mom says and tousles my hair. It doesn't matter if my family is rich or poor. It doesn't matter if my family looks like me. The only thing that matters is that my family loves me and I love them. The only thing that matters is that I belong to them The only thing that matters is they are there. They are mine. The only thing that matters is they are my family forever. The sad thing is, I think I might be too damaged for a family today. I don't trust people who say they love me. I don't believe people are going to stay. If someone told me they were going to adopt me today, I would probably run away.
Can you fix my heart? Can you make it hurt a little less? I promise I'll be good.