My mother died from an overdose when I was Mia’s age – 18 months, so I have no memories of her. After being forced from foster home to foster home, I finally ran away when I was sixteen. After years of broken and violent relationships, I found myself pregnant. When Mia was born, I heard about Mary’s Home. With only two small backpacks of clothes to our name, we began our new lives under their care. 

On our first night at Mary’s Home, Mia begged me to let her try out the swings. Finally, recognizing our lives were shifting from fear into hope, I couldn’t wait to show her how to swing. As the sun was setting, her legs kicked with complete delight, She giggled and begged me to push her higher. And there she was, pushed higher and higher into the orange sunset – into this incredible beauty. After a while, she wanted to stop, and then she asked me to hop on the swing. Her little arms could hardly nudge my body,  but she laughed nevertheless. My eyes fixated on the mountains as the sun surged brightly right before it dropped behind the vast mountain range. 

All I have ever wanted for Mia was a story unlike mine, a story of beauty and hope, swinging into all that is glorious and beautiful. As she pushed me on the swing tonight, I began to think … perhaps she wants that for me too. I can’t change who my mother was to me, but I can change who I am to Mia. And that hope keeps us both smiling.