A few weeks ago, as part of completing the process of becoming our girl’s guardians, we had to take a 3-hour course on the laws, practices and procedures related to our new responsibilities. One of the expectations is that as guardians, we will maintain a high level of confidentiality about Maria. It makes sense–she is a young adult now, almost 19 . Without being in close proximity, as we had been in the past, I am not able to talk with her about posts I might put up that have to do with her. Although Maria has always wanted to share her story with others, it just seems much more appropriate to not go that route any longer. For today, what I can say is this: I miss my daughter so much it aches. Part of being made of flesh and blood and bone is that love is most complete when we are able to touch, hug, push someone’s hair behind her ear or simply look at her in wonder as she sits across the room absorbed in a video game. While she was here in January, more than once I woke up and simply sat by her bed and listened to her breathe–so present in my life. Our access to the girl is very, very limited at this time. And as sweet as it is to stop and take a look at a picture of her, it simply is not enough, though for today, it has to be. Your prayers for her well-being, for a future filled with hope and joy for Maria as she approaches her 19th birthday are greatly appreciated.