Dear Jess,

I feel like it was just yesterday that you turned 22. Now you’re 26.

As much as I want to reiterate that you’re adopted… I can’t, not today…because it’s your birthday plus the association between the three of us is so strong. We cannot deny that you’re not our sister… look at your face.  You will never know the happiness I feel every time I say that you’re adopted. But you know what –  I love you from the first day that our Daddy brought you home and from that day up to this day nothing changed. There are days that I want to throw you out of our house or burn you alive but I love you too much to do that.

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You know that I get sentimental every time your birthday comes. I don’t know why… but I just feel like I am really your mother. :) A lot of things happened… it changed me and you and us. Amidst all of it…thank you for being a loving sister to us. I know there are times that you want to kill us too…but most of the time you’re able to control yourself. Thank you for loving Ellie more than what I expected from you. You always tell me that I don’t have time for you since Ellie was born, but in reality, it was you who don’t give me the attention anymore! :(

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Life is tough and so are you (naks!) So don’t forget that we are proud of you. We will always be here to celebrate your victories – great and small. At times, when you’re struggling and confused don’t forget that we are just here to help you…and make it more confusing too.

There are instances that I hate you (hate talaga?) But it will disappear as soon as I recall the moment that we almost drown during our family staycation at Sofitel – instead of thinking about ourselves…we tried our best to save and help each other first. Mas lalo tayo muntik malunod noon pero nung natulungan natin ang isa’t isa at nagtatawanan tayo na parang mga baliw ang saya diba? Aminin mo… natatawa ka din pag naalala mo. That day I knew that even if we are in a difficult situation we will not leave each other and that we got each other’s back (and other body parts). Life is like that… family will always be there for us because…lifeguards have their break time too :)

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Thank you for being a loving daughter to our parents even though you’re cranky most of the time. Thank you for loving us – your wonderful siblings and our partners in life… and of course thank you for being an amazing and battered aunt to Ellie. Sorry if she makes you bleed and cry most of the time. Thank you for showering her with love and hugs. Only the two of you can understand your love-hate relationship.

Every year I am giving you advices and tips about life – because why not? I am an expert and I know everything and my experiences in life are worth sharing 😂.  Sabi mo nga “eh di ikaw na..” This year, I believe that there’s no need for that anymore – because your old enough and can make sound decisions for yourself. Just don’t lose your kind heart. Masungit ka lang… pala-irap at maarte…pero may mabuti kang puso – yun naman ang mahalaga.

Mahal ka namin (kahit feeling mo hindi at mali ka lagi…)  Happy birthday Tita Saah!

Happy birthday Bes!  We love you!

P.S. Naibalik ko na lahat ng mga laruan mo!

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