I met her at my front door the week of
Thanksgiving 2015. She was quiet and just determined to endure the week of respite we had agreed to do for her and her sister. By midweek she had jumped into our crazy family dynamics, we realized she was anything but quiet and by the end of the week she didn't want to leave. Kayla permanently joined the family on her adoption day November 14, 2017.
Prior to 2015 Kayla had been in 10 different placements, was loud, angry and very sad. Her biological parents were still in the picture at that time but missing supervised visits and not working there treatment plan. Kayla, the oldest of her 8 siblings took the role of caregiver very seriously. She had been caring for them so long she had forgotten how to be a kid. At our house she began unravel the story of her past. The instability of her parents home and the multiple placements had taken there toll on this not so little girl. Her anger was a fire we had to channel into areas that could be used in more positive ways. Her sadness was grief like an ocean and her tears would flow as she poured out her heart break. Dale and I would sit with her, let her talk, rage, cry and scream about the bio parents who abandoned her and the siblings. The lies and dangerous situations she was left to navigate as a child younger then 11, all the while protecting the siblings, was more than any well adjusted adult could bear. Slowly she began to regulate her emotions and use her words to get the court and "system" to listen to her. Honestly I was amazed with her ability to articulate what she needed once she was safe and had a real home.
Kayla will be 15 next month and is a force to be reckoned with. She is musically and theatrically talented. She has a laugh that comes from deep inside and her whole being feels it. Her emotions are deep and is easily moved to tears...happy or sad. She is popular, fun, cute and still LOUD. She has dreams and a future now. Musical theater is her talent and passion. We gifted her a trip to New York this summer. She was able to see and MEET the man who is plays phantom on Broadway. Needless to say, upon meeting him, she asked if she could hug him, (he said yes) LOL, then of course she burst into tears. Kayla is a gift we didn't know was missing from our lives. As I write this I'm smiling.