Sixteen years ago, a young girl walked into a hospital filled with fear and shame but walked out filled with joy and hope. To my son on his sixteenth birthday, I say thank you for raising me.

You taught me to love, to be focused, to fight and to let go. You helped me grow through lifelong insecurities because in your eyes, I knew I was beauty. You taught me how strong I was and how strong I would continue to be. You never knew all the lessons you were teaching, but through your laughter and dogged competitive spirit, I learned to laugh and to compete for us. Your pragmatic approach to life simplified my view and your eternal optimism eventually sprang in me.


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