This post was written on February 21, 2013.
Today is your first birthday. A year ago, we had just returned from Hawaii as a family of 3 and on this day we became a family of 4. As I am once again in Hawaii looking back on that time, I remember the overwhelming fear and anxiety that we had about whether everything would work out, whether you would be healthy, and whether your birth family would be ok. In retrospect, all that worry was evidence of my attempts to protect myself from the deep and abiding love that was developing. Protecting my heart was impossible anyway. I should have not even tried!
Your first year has been such a beautiful adventure! You are what people sometimes call a “sucker baby.” You sleep like a dream, eat whatever is in front of you, hit your milestones pretty much by the book, and flash winning smiles often and without prompting. Even in your worst moments (like when you cut 7 teeth at once and had a cold at the same time), you’d lift your head from my chest and look up lovingly through the tears, melting mama’s heart in a way I had never previously imagined.
It’s been such an amazing thing to watch you develop without an attachment to biologic reference points. You do things in your time in your way without any connection to who you might be doing it like or whether it was quicker or slower than your sister. That fact has made it a year of discovery and has allowed us to enjoy every day as a discreet moment, free from expectations. This is a lesson I wish I learned the first time around!
We’ve also learned to enlarge our concept of family. You have a whole team of people who share your biology and want the very best for you. They are the reason you are with us… And though we’re not physically with them every day, they are always on our minds and in our hearts! We’re so happy that our day to day connections with them are growing and evolving into a beautiful relationship. You are so special that you have 4 grandmas, 2 mama, 2 papas, and dozens of aunts and uncles, biologic and adoptive—all cheering you!
So, we’ve come full circle. A year ago, I was in paradise fantasizing about what you might be like. Now a year later, again on the island of my dreams, you can be 100% sure that our reality together has exceeded all my wildest expectations. Happy birthday precious girl! Let’s enjoy this day!