Sunday, September 11, 2011
Adoption Placement Memories (3 years ago, I met my daughter.)
September 11 is a date that will be remembered by Americans everywhere, always. It was a terrible day that shouldn't have happened. But, for us, September 11th (2008) also represents a new beginning because it was the day that we met Lizzie. I'm aware of the irony. On the date when so many lost so much, we gained so much. On this day, We held her for the first time. We looked into her eyes and we introduced her to her brothers. It was amazing, scary, overwhelming perfection.
I wasn't there when the case worker brought her because I was held up at work. I don't think I will ever forgive the universe for that. But, when I came home, there she was. It is a surreal experience to walk into your house and meet your daughter. It would be a little over a year before she actually was, by legal definition, my daughter. But, really, as soon as I walked into the house, saw Brian happily holding her, unceremoniously said "Let me have her!" and yanked her (gently!) out of his arms; she was my daughter. :)
As I've blogged about before, we went through a rough year. The quick, easy process was anything but that. But, on September 29, 2009, we finalized our adoption and she was legally Elizabeth Eileen Parker (my grandmother's name). It's taken a long time to stop dwelling on the angst. But, I did. (Although, I still can't talk about it without wanting to cry.)
Now, I'm left with an amazing little girl. And, at all times, when I look at her, I still feel a sense of awe that she is mine. I have the same feeling with the boys, but, with them, I am spared an awareness, in the back of my mind, that they almost weren't mine. Because once we were matched with the boys, it actually was a quick, simple process, although it didn't really feel that way, at the time.
Lizzie turned 3 on the August 23rd and, it was a fun day.
It blows me away that this much time has passed. When Lizzie turned 1, we knew that we were going to get to adopt her, but hadn't been officially able to yet. When Lizzie turned 2, I was keenly aware and kept pointing out that it was the first birthday that she was officially ours. For that reason, I obsessed about how we would celebrate and wanted to make sure it was special. (It was.) But, this year, when she turned 3, she was my daughter and it was her birthday. I still obsessed about how we were going to celebrate, but only because I am obsessive I didn't really think about anything beyond that. And, that was pretty cool.