Tuesday, February 12, 2013

50-50 Day!

May 7th, 2012
A little over 9 months ago a beautiful baby girl was placed into our arms.  She cried very little, but she was so very sad.
May 7th, 2012
But she is a determined little girl, and early on it was clear she was determined to enjoy life.
June 12, 2012
Even when life was confusing and scary, when life was a constant adjustment to new time zones and food and atmosphere, she had many moments of shining bright with happiness, play, and sheer enjoyment of everything new.  Those are the pictures we posted.
July 26, 2012
But slowly we found a routine and her personality started showing through more and more often.  Not usually out in public, but at home we got to see the curious, happy little girl who had charmed her Nanny.
August 20, 2012
Summer was a great time for her and our family.  We all got to spend a lot of time together doing three of the things she seems to love most: eating, exploring, and being outside.  We all loved her and she seemed pleased to be with us together, and slowly we got to see her relax a little more and start to love us.
But September was a little rough with the boys back in school, Daddy at work full time, and home alone with Mommy and Sunflower.  Teething probably also contributed to the sleepless nights and nighttime screaming fits.  So Sunflower started preschool which gave our days back a little more routine and Sweet Pea Mommy and me time.
October 2, 2012
And Sweet Pea's personality started shining for more people.  "Wow!  She has so much personality!  She's so happy!" became a common phrase.  (People actually always said, "such a happy baby" and I would look at them in confusion.  Couldn't they see the sadness in her eyes?  Didn't they know there was more to being a happy baby than not crying in public?  But I could never really disagree, because well, she was/is a happy baby.  I just knew there was more joy in her than she was showing at times.)
November 7, 2012
By November we felt like we knew this precious little toddler in our care.  Others could also see her amazing zest for life and fun.  Her laughter rang out even more often and loudly irresistible to resist laughing back.
December 13, 2012
And some might think transition is complete.  Certainly in some ways the major hurdle is passed.  She has accepted us as her family.  This is now her new normal and she sees it as good.  Oh sure, we see some sadness when she is told no or others want to hold her or she doesn't get her way.  But that is good.  She is not resigned or shut down; her laughter couldn't be as loud and full without her ever feeling the flipside of the emotion.
January 25, 2013
And now when I look through her pictures it is harder to find one where she is sad than one where she is happy.  Those first few months I was looking for that one happy shot so people could see who we saw at home and at peace.  Oh, she is still very serious at her play; like a little scientist experimenting with how toys, her world, everything works.  But when she is interacting with people, especially her family, the timidity and fear are gone.  She is one-hundred percent joy and delight.
February 4, 2013
But today we reach another hurdle, another milestone.  For us it is a time to celebrate and for her it is a day of routine...meal, play, nap.  But someday for her maybe it is a day of sadness.   The day she was ours for as long as the time she lived with her Nanny.  From this point forward the new normal of being of Chinese ancestry who is an American citizen with a white family will only become more and more normal.  It is what it is for better or for worse.  

There will be many points in her life as she grows older where her losses will need to be grieved, where her mind will comprehend a little more of what adoption means.  Points where she tells us the gain of one thing (us) can not take away the pain of what she has lost (culture, language, first family).  There will probably be a point where she wonders about her Nanny and her first family and we won't have the answers.  Today she does not have those worries, but today she is one step further away from the answers she did have.
May 10, 2012
So we celebrate how far she has come and rejoice daily at her presence in our life for it is a huge blessing and joy.  And we do our best to retain what we can of her past: 4000 pictures from China, everything her SWI and Province gave her, including facts of her personal story, and what we do know of her.

I know that in China she learned to love animals.  She points out every dog and cat with glee (I never worry about her eyesight because sometimes those animals are very, very hard for me to see).  Even from the start she would whip her head around at the sound of a dog and smile large. 

She came to us with the ability to make motorcycle/electric scooter noises.  I wasn't sure it meant she'd been on one, but over time I have become positive.  The pictures show she visited the SWI with her Nanny on a scooter (probably riding on the back of her Nanny in a baby carrier) and she absolutely loves wind on her face.  
November 5, 2012
And there is more that I ponder and keep close for her.  Because while it is her story to do with as she wills, right now while she is little, it is my duty to preserve it for her as best as I can and those 9 months and few days* she spent in China are an important part of her.
And I can spend a few hours grieving what she is not yet capable of grieving, because I am her mom.  I will have years of that laugh and giggle and run attack hug.  We will do everything we can to give her the best of us and make a great life for her because she has already given us the best of her by trusting us.

* I also believe the 9 months and few days she spent being formed in her mother's tummy are significant but happy 33.333/33.333/33.333 day just doesn't have the same ring to it.  


Michelle said...

What blessing she is!!

Andrea Dawn said...

Ok, Cedar, you got me crying again. Such beauty in this post, in your heart for this little girl God has blessed you with. And I know He has also blessed her with you and your family.

No Greater Love said...

Love this post..happy 50/50 day, Sweet Pea!!!!