Have you ever been called upon to defend a friend’s character? This is a little different than my usual posts, but it’s important to me. And it needs to be shared.
This is an open letter about my friend, Estelle.
To Whom it May Concern:
I first met Estelle in 1995 while I was living on my farm in Oregon. At the time, she had her own business as a daycare provider. Calling what she was doing a business doesn’t sound right. For her it was a labor of love.
The first time I went to her home, it was filled with children of all ages. It was hard to discern which were her own biological children, and which were the ones that were part of her “business”. It was apparent immediately that they were all “her children”.
As the years went by and she moved on to other endeavors, we would occasionally run in to one of “her kids”. The reaction was always the same; first the squeal of joy “Stellie!” followed by hugs and laughter and telling her all about what was happening in their lives. She would listen intently and asked lots of questions, remembering every detail about their lives.
I have seen her interact with children of all ages and walks of life. She has taken each and every one of them under her wing with love and acceptance. From the sweet little ones to the drug addicts to children troubled or suicidal, she has been there for each of them.
While she has worn many hats in life, she is first and foremost a Mother. In recent years I’ve watched her patiently take on the role of stepmother and despite the challenges, she did it with grace.
Her stepson took to her immediately, as was the case with all of her other kids. They quickly developed a natural bond of mother and son, and it was no surprise to hear him call her Mom.
Estelle included his biological mother in all of their family events, because she wanted her boy to never feel pulled apart or that he had to take sides. There are many family photos that show all of them together under her umbrella of love and acceptance.
This young man is now 13 and unfortunately in the middle of a custody battle. As anyone with a teenager knows, navigating through those years can bring about so much change and uncertainty. In an effort to feel more stable he has asked to live full time with Estelle and his father.
I’ve heard my friend cry many times, and her tears now are not for her, but her son. For the last 8 years she has done everything in her power to keep this extended family together, but it appears the boys biological mother wants to pull it apart. I know her heart is aching for him, and the fear he is feeling right now for his future.
I hope I have conveyed to you what a wonderful mother Estelle is. It is of the utmost importance to her, that her children are happy and thriving in this world. For anyone to question her character as a Mother is criminal.
Thank you for your indulgence…