My dearest Tanner,
I’ve dreamed of this day since the moment we heard about you. It’s been 2426 days and part of me doesn’t believe it is finally here. The bang of a gavel will finalize what we’ve known for almost seven years, that you are a member of our family. It’s funny how nothing and everything will change today.
You were the missing piece
When I got the call you had been born, I ran around my office in excitement because YOU WERE FINALLY HERE. And when you came home from the hospital six days later, I ran to the car to hold you. The moment I had you in my arms, I knew our family was complete. The Collier 5. Did you know, I wouldn’t let Auntie hold you that first night? I couldn’t let you go for even a few moments.
You are loved and wanted
I want you to know how much we love and want you. Your birth parents do too. The fact we all love you so much is part of what made the journey to get to today so long. Your smile and charismatic nature attract people. You have this ability to make people fall in love with you the moment they meet you. You love to use this magic power on unsuspecting people handing out candy.
You are more than adopted
Yes, you are adopted, but you are also right handed and have brown hair. Being adopted is part of who you are but it doesn’t have to be everything you are. I hope you find peace with your past. I promise to answer your questions with honesty and love. You were never something we settled for. You are wanted, loved and cherished.
You are amazingly special
I know every parent thinks their children are special. But you are truly special. You are so smart. Your thirst for knowledge and understanding is nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Everyone comments on your inquisitive nature. Never stop asking why, even when I get annoyed. Sometimes, I get these glimpses of who you will be as an adult and I cannot wait to see who you become.
You are not lucky
People tell us all the time how lucky you must be to have us as parents. They are so wrong. We are lucky to have you as our son. We are lucky to see the world through your eyes. You have changed our family in the most amazing ways.
You teach me so much
There is nothing you cannot do. I’ve learned patience, perseverance, and passion from you. When you commit to something, you find a way to make it happen. Your creative problem-solving skills will continue to come in handy as you get older. Just remember, channel this energy into making good decisions. Oh, and I will forever call an exclamation point an excitement mark!
You are Ohana
It’s fitting that Lilo and Stitch is one of your favorite movies. You remind me so much of Stitch. You are this wonderful, complicated mix of genius, curiosity, kindness and diabolical laughter. When I describe you to people I joke that you are my evil genius child. You are home.
Tanner, you have always been my son and today a bang of the gavel will make it official and forever. I wouldn’t change a single thing about how we got to today’s celebration because it is part of our story. A story that is perfect.