Your birth certificate arrived yesterday.
It has my name on it. And your mommy’s name. And your name. You’re our little girl.
And I still shake my head in wonder.
So many years of my life were spent thinking I’d never have a child, and now here you are, sitting next to me in your highchair making talking noises and eating spinach and peppers pizza for lunch.
Mommy had nearly given up on marriage before I came along, and we both agreed that even at our age, we’d be happy if we were to have a child. (One of us believed that God’s will would determine if we had a baby. The other of us believed God was walking alongside us while uncountable and uncontrollable factors determined the outcome.)
Both of us believe you are a miracle, bathed in the Grace of God. And here you sit next to me. Our daughter. With our last name. Our miracle. Eating pizza.
Tonight was the first time this month you’ve had your bottle at bedtime and have been able to breath.
For the whole month, you’ve taken a few swallows, paused for breath like a swimmer, and then swallowed some more.
You’re also able to keep your mouth closed and breath through your nose when we’re trying to give you your medicine. And then you spit the medicine back out.
So, you’re finally turning the corner and getting over your first illness.
You’re back to your usually happy self. We’re glad you’re feeling better.
You were napping when I started writing this. Now you’re eating dinner with mommy.
When you’re not at daycare (we’re still working out your schedule at daycare) you nap a lot. You also eat a lot.
You turn a year old in two weeks, and you spend most of your day sleeping and eating.
After you wake up
you start eating
you eat for about an hour
and then you play for two and half to three hours.
And then you nap.
And then it starts all over again.
I was writing tonight, and thinking about the day we brought you home.
At this moment, in the airport, we looked at each other and connected. And we’ve looked at each other like this ever since.
You’ve been our little girl since before we met you.
I never could have imagined our lives would be as wonderful as they are. And now I can’t imagine you not in our lives. Our little girl.
I’m the most wonderful man in the world.
That’s how I feel when you look at me and smile.
The other day, you hadn’t seen me for hours, and when I saw you and picked you up, you hugged me with your face buried against my shoulder. After a few moments, you leaned back to look me in the face, and you smiled happily. Then you hugged me again. And then you looked at me and smiled again. You were so happy and excited, you kept hugging and then looking at me.
Today, you and mommy were laying on the couch, and you looked at me, and said, “da, da, da, da.”
“It just melts your heart, doesn’t it?” mommy asked.
Yes, it does.
I wrote this in my head a few days ago while giving you a bath.
It’s just taken me several days to write it down.
The final hearing was December 22. And on January 6, my birthday, the lawyer mailed the court documents.
The paperwork arrived a few days ago.
We knew what the final judgment would say – You’re our daughter, we are your parents. The rights of your birth parents have been dissolved by the court. (We’ll tell you more about your birth family when the time comes.)
We knew all of this was in the judgment.
But we were surprised by this sentence:
This adoption decree creates a relationship between the adoptee and Petitioners and all relatives of Petitioners that would have existed if the adoptee were a blood descendant of the Petitioners born within wedlock, entitled to all rights and privileges thereof, and subject to all obligations of a child born to Petitioners herein.
This means you’re our little girl.
You went to daycare Friday.
You crawled right up to a little boy and started playing, but Mommy and daddy were sad to leave you, and daddy spent hours writing down his thoughts and feelings about you in daycare.
In the early evening Saturday, you started vomiting. You vomited all night.
Mommy and daddy took turns holding you, while you tried to sleep, before you’d vomit some more.
Sunday morning, you woke up really early and had part of a bottle. A few hours later, you woke up and vomited again, all over daddy. You’ve spent nearly all day sleeping in your mommy’s arms, exhausted.
Before I could finish writing this and post it today, you vomited all over daddy again.
My thoughts and feelings about daycare are pretty obvious.
resting with daddy
You’re going to daycare in a few days.
In another week, you’ll have to go to daycare regularly until mommy takes her summer break.
You’ve been with either mommy or daddy nearly every minute since we brought you home.
Your brief visits to the church daycare have been . . . awkward. You’ve cried every time we’ve left you and you nearly always keep crying until we return.
We expect you to cry a lot on Friday.
You’re so friendly and outgoing, we expect you to really enjoy playing with the other children. But it’s going to be a hard day for everyone.