I pray for you every day. We are all frantic trying to get you and your dad home safely. With all of the craziness, it’s easy to get caught up in taking sides. Who’s right, who’s wrong, and who is better fit to care for you. It’s easy to start thinking this is about your mom and dad. But it’s not! Beautiful girl, this is about YOU! However, your existence did not cause this mess. You were never to blame. There were those that sought to use you as a pawn in their games, but that is not your fault. Do not ever feel that you are responsible for these people’s manipulations.
One day when you’re older, you might think, ‘I never asked for this’, ‘why did everyone make the decisions that they did?’ This letter is only to tell you things that I have seen; things I wish that I could’ve heard as a little girl.
1. It wasn’t all bad. There was a time when your Mom and Dad were happy and in love. They were the first of your Uncle Ryan Overholt’s friends to get married. We were all so young! I know you will laugh, because to you twenties seem ancient. When I look at the pictures, I know that my bittersweet memories are nothing compared to your dad’s loss and heartbreak. Adrianna, people will tell you that men do not mourn the failure of marriages as deeply as women do. Maybe some, but not your father.
2. Your dad is the best friend. Your father was there every step of the way: at every event, every milestone. I know how much he and your Uncle Ryan O hoped that one day you and Kaya would be as close friends as they were. Just two buds, growing up in the same neighborhood that they cherished. Did you know that your Dad, and your Uncle Ryan Kent were one of the first people that came to meet Kaya at the hospital after she was born? Uncle Ryan K was even about to leave for Idaho the next day, and he had just injured his leg and was using crutches! I remember thinking, that we were lucky to have the support of such close friends.
3. You are everything to him. I saw your dad, the first time he held Kaya. He could not wait for his turn, Adrianna! You were what he was waiting for. I also remember your Dad, visiting Lincoln in the same hospital you were born in. Revisiting hospital floor you were born on, he spoke of his indescribable joy at your birth. For a moment, he remembered why he endlessly jumped through every legal hoop, and faced every indignity imaginable, simply to see you. I could see the pain in his eyes, plain as day. It was too much for anyone to bear, but he did it anyways.
4. You bring out the best in your father. When I worked with your dad, families of our residents would often come to me to say how caring and kind your dad was, and how they would often specifically request for him to be assigned to their parents. I saw him struggle with his finances, as he juggled work and school. You should’ve seen some of the things he was eating, just so every spare dime could go towards his legal fees! But the end game was clear for him, he was going to have fair custody. And he needed a stable, high paying job to help in his fight. But most importantly, as a nurse, he would have a rewarding job that would make you proud.
5. Always make time for your loved ones. Your dad always made time for us, no matter how busy he was. I am sad to think, that we often let our busy schedules interfere with seeing him. But he never stopped trying. Because that is the man your Dad is. The last time I saw him, he came over to see our new house, to help fix our pool filter. Even then, when he must have been consumed with legal battles, and court fees; he was there for us. And I swear, Adrianna, if I had known I would not have seen him again for a while, I would have asked more about you, about how he was doing. How was he coping with unspeakable loneliness of missing you? Sometimes, that is the problem with being strong; others will forget the ongoing struggle. Your dad is so good at fighting, at going on. Except for him, there simply was no going on. Not. Without. You.
Lastly, precious girl, I wish you power. You are not just a prize to be won, or kept. Never let your self-worth be determined by others. Your Mom can’t stop you from growing up, and seeing with your own eyes, making up your own mind, and deciding with your own heart. She will never be able to silence the many who know your Dad, and do not hesitate to speak for him. For now, you are little girl; and the Peruvian government has overstepped its own laws to try and protect you. That is how important you are. However, I think they have lost sight of the fact that you, little girl, will one day be a woman. A woman, who will wonder: Who are these men and women, in suits and uniforms, to keep your father away from you? And I wonder where all those important people will be when you are growing up without your loving father. Because at the time that I write you this letter, Adriana, your father’s situation is very grim indeed.
There will come a time, for you, as it does to all people, where we must shed the coils of our parent’s actions, and their past. If you ever feel like you are always stuck trying to choose between the two of them. Honor them both, and do what they did: Choose you, Adrianna Kent. Your father chose you over his own freedom. Your mother chose you over her own integrity. I hope you choose love, dearest. I hope you always choose love.
I also cherish the hope that I will be able to tell you all this in person one day. I fear I will not, if people in power do not take action. If I do not, I hope the universe brings you this letter one day, when you need it. For on the internet, nothing is truly lost or deleted.
Be brave. Your Daddy loves you.