Dear Santa: happy endings aren’t for everyone


Tanisha Van Valkenburg

Dear Santa,

I have a request that I’m not sure you can fulfill but I thought it was worth trying. For Christmas I want my adoptive dad to overcome COVID. It’s a long story but to cut it short, I left my adoptive parents and got placed in the system again. It’s not the worst thing that could happen, it’s actually kinda good, but the point is I haven’t seen my dad in almost two years and this time of year I am really missing him. I’ve had it on my mind to reach out to him and talk things over with him because things weren’t on a good note when I left. I know that he is my dad but when you don’t talk to someone for almost two years it feels weird to contact them again after leaving things in a bad way. Recently I just found out that he is in the hospital sick with COVID and considering he is on the older side, has diabetes, and a semi-weak immune system I’m worried, very worried. The kind of worrying that makes your heart pound out of your chest, makes you stare off into space, and the kind that makes you make up scenarios in your mind of what could happen.

Thinking about losing a parent, even if they aren’t your biological ones, still puts you in a place where it’s hard to keep your mind straight. Luckily I’m used to losing people so I’ve adjusted to things like that. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, I lost my family when I was put into foster care and I lost my bio dad to a drug overdose. Most of my life I’ve cut people off, kept my guard up, and I NEVER trust people. Trusting people requires you to open up about yourself and let people know the real you, but when people know who you really are then they can find your weak spots and exploit them for comfort and that is something that I am not willing to go through, again. 

Part of being a kid who lives with people who aren’t her legal guardians is that there aren’t a lot of things that you can do and I feel that life is slipping away from me; it’s running ahead of me and I can’t keep up. Everybody is excelling in their lives and I’m sitting in the back seat with no truck waiting for life to let me out and explore it for once. My adoptive dad is the one person that makes my life better in every way. He can take me from the trunk of the car to the driver’s seat. All I want for Christmas is for him to get better and after he is back on his feet we can have the talk that is needed for us to have. Happy endings aren’t for everyone but maybe I can have one that doesn’t result in another person I care about dying.


Your friend Tanisha