Saying “I love you” for the first time was scary. We didn’t know each other very well back then, but I knew right away that my love for you would grow profoundly. I wasn’t sure how to express it that first time, and I was worried about your reaction, but I thought it was important for you to hear that you were special to me. When I finally worked up the courage to tell you that I loved you, I was met with a simple, “Yep, goodnight.” and I couldn’t have been more grateful as I had half expected a scowl or worse. I know it must have been scary for you when you made the decision to say it back, because for a while you dipped your toes in the water, giggling and asking if I loved you and then replying with a simple “yeah” when I asked if you loved me back. That slowly grew to silly “I looooveeee yooouuuuuu”‘s and then eventually to responding to me with a serious “I love you, too”.
Expressing our love is something we do now on a regular basis. I make sure to tell you in the morning and when I tuck you in at night. I tell you every time we say hello or goodbye, and I tell you at random times throughout the day, but yet I can still see the insecurity in your eyes as you question if I really mean it. Some days you prance around the house giggling and reciting “you loooove me” over and over as though it’s a song stuck in your head. Other days, in that same giggling voice, you turn it into a question, “do you looooove me?”. My answer is always “yes”, but yet you keep asking and I wonder how long it will take for you to really believe it. I suppose it’s probably something you’ve heard many times before, often from foster parents who never intended to keep you. You must not have understood that they weren’t rejecting you when you moved to the next home, but rather trying to providing you with temporary love until someone came along who could do it permanently. You must have felt like no one wanted you, and now that I think about it, you often ask me why no one likes you, and I suppose that is why you feel this way. Well my darling daughter, no matter how long it takes you to believe in it, I will love you always.