She is counting on the days to turn 16, which I think it will be around 90 days or less.
It’s been more than four months since she moved in with us and she is improving every day. For the most part, she found a home, a loving home, where we help each other and making contributions. She loves the sit-down dinner we have most nights, and the family walks at the nearby park in the evening when the sun cool down. She is starting to share her “boys” and “relationship” stories with me, although O seems to be the default relationship consultant/adviser. She embraces O as a father figure, and when we are out in public, we often tell people, if inquired, that she is our daughter. They believe that she is ours. And I do feel like she is mine, even though I did not carry her in my womb and birthed her. Nevertheless, there is a thread that ties and bounds us. And I love that!
The relationship she has with her mom is complicated, and it is non-existent with her dad. I don’t talk to my brother very often; we just don’t have much in common for frequent conversations. He, for the most part, does not care. He has his own family and children, and so Tendril is on the margin of his life. She does exist, to him, but he is not able to care for her, physically and emotionally. Then there is the language barriers, too, that Tendril told me she cannot communicate with him beyond the basic “Daddy, how are you?” and “I am fine, thank you” kind of conundrum.
But with her mom, it’s so damn complicated. It’s very unfortunate that the mother is quite ignorant and careless. What kind of a mother who does not want the best for her children? What kind of mother who would very often go out of her way to make her daughter miserable with verbal abuses? I just don’t want to deal with people who are irresponsible and have no common sense like her. Taking Tendril in is not a money-making scheme that her mother thought that we are trying to do; we do it because we cannot stand seeing her being elsewhere, homeless, and living from one place to the next within a few months. I just don’t have the heart to live comfortably, knowing that my niece is eating ramen noodles for almost every meal, and being abandoned by her mother.
But Tendril has changed quite a bit since she came to live with us. I think, for the most part, she feels the love from the people who are genuine about loving her. For other part, her life is now normalized, without the worries or fear of not having food to eat, and a place to stay.
And I love her, more towards the center of the heart, everyday.