Dear Meron,

To my oldest on your 7th Birthday. You have been home 2 years this week. I hope you have a great Birthday weekend. You deserve only the best in this world. I love you so much. You have turned into such a amazing young girl. You excel in everything you do from school, soccer, acting, swimming, and gymnastics. You are a great daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend, cousin, and niece. You teach me new things everyday.

I watched you on your jumper today with all your friends, opening your Hannah Montana and High School Musical presents, and enjoying a beautiful day at the park. I thought of where two years has taken you. On your 5th Birthday we celebrated at The Hilton Hotel in Ethiopia after you had only known us 4 days. Nana just commented to me the other day as we discussed that you were reading at a grade level ahead, “What would have been if she had stayed in Ethiopia?” I just told her I have to think of what is. I am so grateful for your education, friends, and life you have here, although I also grieve with you the loss of your life in Ethiopia.

Two years ago this week you made the hardest journey one can make in their life. You said goodbye to your first mom, to Ethiopia, and traveled on a plane to America where you knew no one and no English two days after your 5th Birthday. You welcomed Dad and I as your new parents. You learned to trust and love us unconditionally. You helped Estifanos adjust and feel secure in his own transition to America. You offered love to Yordie when you were reunited with her after not being together for several months. You remind her of life in Ethiopia, and of your first family. You also look in anticipation at being a big sister yet again when little brother arrives home next year. Thank you for always being flexible as life changes. I can’t wait to watch you grow over the next year.