Miss Lady entered an essay contest at school sponsored by the Elk's Club entitled "What Freedom Means to Me". She wrote about freedom from the perspective of being a first generation American born of Cambodian parents and also the change in her understanding of what freedom means since entering foster care. It was really good. The judges at the Elk's Club thought so, too. She won first place among all 7th and 8th graders in her school district!
Tuesday night they held a special award ceremony to honor the top three winners in her age group and the 5th and 6th grade group. We took Miss Lady out this weekend to get a nice outfit for the event and that night I curled her hair for her. She looked so beautiful. It was hard seeing my 13 year old look so grown up. I kept choking up over the thought that all my girls would someday be teenagers on the verge of adulthood. It probably won't be long even before Miss Lady won't be asking me to help with her hair or wanting my opinion when choosing a dress.
Miss Lady's parents and her cousin also came to see her receive the award. She was really hoping that her teachers would be able to come, but they couldn't. So instead we printed out photos of her from that night and she's handing them out at school today. One teacher asked for a copy of her essay to display at the school! When it was time for the winners to read their essays they asked for a volunteer to go first and Miss Lady spoke right up to say she would. I was so proud of her all night long that I feared my face would split from grinning. She is such an incredible young lady! At the Elk's Club she received an award plaque and $100 gift card.