Tiffany cried and cried as she made the adjustment to her new home. When finally she could talk and feel the love and security of her family she stopped crying. We were blessed to formally adopt Tiffany at age 2-1/2 .
Our very own Judge AC Soud performed the adoption.
In 1995 Tiffany’s sister, Lesleigh was born. As Lesleigh grew, they became playmates and a special and loving bond developed. Lesleigh idolized her older sister Tiffy.
As a young child Tiffany was a great “cuddler” especially to the men in the family. I used to call her my “lover girl”. We should have known then that she would have wanted to be surrounded by people. Before very long our home was filled with her friends, the stray animals and we so remember the sickly dog named Rusty. I did not only adopt Tiffany but she was blessed and adopted by our entire extended family. Ashleigh’s Grampa and Grammie Markam loved Tiffany beyond measure. Grammie Markham is a great seamstress and lovingly created beautiful dresses for my girls.
Tiffany enjoyed traveling with Ashleigh and her grandparents to
Tiffany and her sister’s were excited beyond measure to attend the annual Easter egg hunt, the Halloween and Christmas parties held at Grampa Markham's American Legion Post down at the beach.
Tiffany was also showered with love from her many aunts and uncles. Our family holidays were always spent with Auntie and Daddy Loop. Regardless of the 100-degree weather Daddy Loop would dawn his Santa suit and become her Santa Claus. Auntie showered Tiffany and all her sister’s with not only her loving heart but with so many special presents.
Tiffany’s Aunt Barbara would often take her on movie and lunch dates.
Tiffany tested gifted, she was a fluent reader and read her Christmas play in Kindergarten .
She started coming to church when she was in elementary school and was baptized here on March 26, 2000.
In the 5th grade she began to test her boundaries and she pushed back and questioned the status quo. The need to socially belong -and her needs to be more- came rushing through.
I so remember a day during her Middle school years at James Weldon Johnson when a school officer brought her home, not only with a completely different set of clothes on than those she left with but with bright red hair. She was always questioning authority. Tiffany danced to her own drummer.
I soon learned that it would certainly “take a village” to raise her. I so very very much thank her church friends, Sunday school Teachers and other friends who tried to keep her on task.
She started high school at Wolfson because they offered a Magnet Program in Finance and Law. I figured that as she never seemed to want to “follow the rules ” and she was so material needy that a school whose focus was on these things would be a perfect match for her.
Tiffany was creative, impulsive, spontaneous and had an eye for the art. She started cutting her own hair and re-designing her clothes. Even getting Tiffany Weaver to sew her newly designed fashions. She loved my old clothes they were so “retro”. She made her own style and looked adorable in all her new designs. She loved photography, drawing and journaling. If you too, love journaling as she did “ be certain to watch what you write because mama is always watching and reading.
Tiffany made many of her own choices, choices that mom and family did not always approve of. Many of these choices were made beyond her control because she was ill and had such a tremendous need to be loved and accepted. Because she had an attachment disorder she could not feel the love that constantly surrounded her.
I was the organizer and the drill Sargent- Tiffany the care free - live in the moment spirit. I often wondered how we got matched. Tiffany was so beautiful and charismatic that people were just drawn to her. Her smile truly could just light up a room.
Unfortunately, at 16 she became pregnant. However, we should all understand how much Tiffany wanted to be a mother to this unborn child - which we now know as “Kaylani Rae Marie”. Watching Tiffany with Kaylani I have no doubt that she was the best of “mommies” and loved Kaylani beyond words. They were inseparable. Kaylani loved and adored her mommy.
As it is said, children bring to their parents their greatest joy and their greatest pain. Tiffany, my sweet, sweet Tiffany: “You gave me such great joy and now the great pain of your loss.
I want people to know that since Tiffany was reunited with her family she was on task and so happy. She was planning a vacation and on returning to school. She had set goals. She got a part-time job and was reconnecting with her family and friends.
I am so very broken and I can not understand what God’s plan was. I will seek a measure of comfort found in proverbs Chapter 3 verses 5-6…”We will trust in our Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding, but in all our ways acknowledge him and he will direct our paths.”
Tiffany e-mailed me just before she came back home and said “tell others to judge me by what is in my heart and not by my illness.” So please remember Tiffany lovingly and rejoice in the knowledge that when we return to our Lord and Savior we will all see her and baby Kaylani again. As I always used to say, “I love you Tiffany, more than that and you can’t beat that.”
In 2 Timothy 4:6-7 ”I know that you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith. Therefore, you will receive your crown of righteousness.”
So in closing I will say to you. “I will see you sweet daughter and precious Kaylani in a blink of my eye.”