Our First Day Home
or, why I should have kept a diary...
because I don't remember any of it.
Well, just bits and pieces.
I know Daniel helped his Daddy haul two giant bags of laundry to the laundromat in THE BEST DECISION I HAVE MADE IN MY LIFE SO FAR: paying for our 40 lbs of filthy clothes to be cleaned instead of doing it ourselves. The laundromat is next to a park, so after we freed ourselves of our burdens we put the kids on swings for the first time in their lives. They loved it. Weeeee!!! Higher! Faster! Weeeee!!!! Here we go, FAMILY!
The kids had pretty much been loving everything about their new home so far, except car seats. All the food, the ways drawers open and closed and there was so! much! stuff! in them. Toys hiding all over! Miracles like rain boots and sunglasses and winter vests and shoes!, shoes! shoes!
Note to all adoptive parents bringing home older than 1's: Lock up all out-of-season clothes, or your child will put together outfits like the get up Daniel wore on one of our first days (before I got smart and hid everything): a winter cap, a vest, wool socks, shorts, sandals and a tank top. It was July.
Andrew and I weren't so sure about how much we were enjoying our new life. We missed sleeping, lazy mornings, eating complete meals, being able to stay awake past 9. Peace. Quiet. We stumbled through the days. We tried to keep our eyes open and our bellies full. Write down each day's events? All the firsts and bonding and attaching we were accomplishing? Ha! Who has energy? Zzzzzzz..... We collapsed at the end of each day like all new parents do. But instead of a tiny, portable newborn we had 2 sentient, active, walking, talking, demanding children.
We played in the park. We ate. We played at home. We ate. Repeat. That was our first summer together. Now that it is our 2nd summer as a family, we are back in the park. I am remembering all those sweaty days again. Following baby Lily, who had just learned to walk, around the playground, trying to keep her from eating any of the thousands of bright colored bits of plastic, popped balloons, old crackers and rocks that littered the ground. The girl had (still does) a taste for rocks. She wasn't so sure about solid food, but bits of balloon she found on the sidewalk? YUM!
I remind myself: this summer is so different from last year. First of all, my son speaks English. A year of wonderful teachers and hard work and constant, "What's that mommy? What's this called?" worked wonders. Lily is a "big girl" now, preferring to chase after her brother, or climb to nerve wracking heights. They have both made their peace with the car seats. We can do things, so many things, that we didn't dare try last year. Last year just a trip to the park on a hot day was so nerve wracking I was constantly holding back tears, bracing myself for a scraped knee or a lost toy to send one of them in a spirally tantrum.
It seems hard to believe that we did it. We forged a family out of 2 sets of strangers. We really did make 2+2= Family. If I had known how hard some moments would be, I might not have tried. But that is the grace of life, that challenges ahead remain out of sight. Wonder what this summer will bring...