I came across this memory from January 2013 and was reminded of just how far God has brought me. As I read the words I felt tears well up, so grateful for the provisions God provided during my darkest hours, including my sweet little girl with whom I could not have made it through. For those of you who are struggling with unwanted change or tough life issues-know that God is with you and He will see you through. Adessa and I are living proof.
Here is our New Year’s Letter from 2013…
“Greetings from two freezing Californians who are muddling through another Iowa winter! It has been an eventful few years for Adessa and I, and as I look back on what we’ve been through I am reminded of something Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities…because it is the quality which guarantees all others”.
Courage is a quality I never really had to exercise before, but these past 4 years have stretched, contorted, and painfully forced me to use every courageous muscle in my body. I cannot say I managed it alone, much of the credit goes to the 3 1/2 foot tall bundle of pure effervescence that I live with. When the days came that brought me to a place of surrender her sweet little face and imaginative outlook kept me going…and in the end, the struggle worked out in our favor.
In July a judge in Iowa ruled to terminate the parental rights of Adessa’s Father, cutting him off forever. It was an outcome that rarely is achieved and can only be attributed to the team of detectives, social workers, therapists, and attorneys that fought so hard on Adessa’s behalf. A month later we finalized the divorce and after almost 4 years of uncertainty, Adessa and I found ourselves completely emancipated from the shackles of our perpetrator. Truly a gift.
Unfortunately, along with the victory’s have come great losses, one of which was the home-going of our dear Uncle Ned, my Dad’s twin brother. I have so many lovely memories of him and I’m certain that he is with his Savior now, playing his trumpet, throwing a baseball, or as Adessa would say, “he is flying alongside the birds that he loved Mama!” I am so fortunate to have called him my Uncle.
Looking back at the events Adessa and I have navigated through together, it’s hard for me to imagine that my baby is now about to turn 6. She started kindergarten this year and is excelling. In our free time we spend countless hours at the local library, playing at neighborhood parks, walking by the Mississippi, or exploring the many shops downtown. We see my parents frequently and their support and encouragement has filled the gaps for Adessa and I in so many ways. Our lively little church has also been a source of refuge and growth.
As we slowly begin to enter normal life again, the first order of business has been deciding on a new middle name for Adessa since her last name will be changing to my maiden name. I wanted something meaningful and thought I had decided on “Christie”, my Mother’s middle name, which means ‘beautiful Christian woman’. Then one day Adessa walked into the room and said to me, “Mommy, my new name should be Liberty!” I asked her if she knew what that word meant and she replied, “Yes Mama…It means we’re free, we’re free!”
In her 5 year old wisdom she realized the impact of our liberation, and as I looked at the two names together I was reminded of the freedom we find in Christ. A beautiful and meaningful name for a precious little girl~
“Adessa Liberty Christie Landers”
We hope this new year will bring much joy, hope, and courage to you all!”
All our Love, Miranda & Adessa