Last night I was at the adoption website I became addicted to during our long wait, and was greeted with a Babies! post. When referrals are announced, the website's creator (who goes my a moniker and has somehow managed to remain anonymous after two China adoptions) gives the proud new parents the opportunity to list a link to their blogs. P would occasionally visit the website, but for me it was a daily habit. It is an amazing place where we all are in the same slow boat, and even though I never posted until I received a referral, it served as a much needed form of support. The website was and still is a great source for the how tos of attachment and resources. The funny thing is that it was not me, the daily visitor who posted a link to our blog. Oh yeah, P beat me to it, and what I find even funnier is that it is the only time he has referred to himself as "daddy." I have not looked at his post since, but I do believe it read "Proud daddy here..." I have a screen shot of the day it was published, because I am a proud parent as well.
It's hard to believe that three years ago today we were at SFO, having pizza, with the Northwest jet behind us, the jet that was going to take us to Japan, on our way to our daughter in China. We both had butterflies in our stomachs, because no matter how long you prepare for such a moment, well, there is no way to be prepared. We were embarking on an amazing journey,but were brokenhearted that JJ could not join us. We had prepared financially for JJ to join us, including covering his daily living costs during his absence. However, his then partner was not thrilled with the idea, and against P's wishes I did not push the issue. It is a decision that I have regretted every day. The only consolation we have is the amazing bond between SS and JJ, and how she truly idolizes her big brother. That is, when she is not bossing him around, stealing food off his plate and sometimes trying to kill him.
Although I had butterflies in my tummy, it was not for the usual reasons. I feared the long flight, heck I feared being on a plane. As I think I have posted before, two years before our referral, the county I worked for unwittingly paid for my acclimation to air travel. I traveled before, but was always an insufferable mess. Things were better when P came into my life, as he made it a point to hold my hand during take off and landing. It is something he still does, although I no longer need it. For those two years I volunteered to escort children for other coworkers. My only request was no overnight stays. Meaning that no matter how long it took me to reach my destination, I wanted to return on the next available flight. My reasoning was that such long travel days would acclimate me to the fourteen hours of flight time to China. It actually worked, and the best part is during my travels for work I made an obscene amount of overtime. Again, the only reason I was able to remain home as long as I did. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. Also, as I have stated before, while my official reason was that I wanted to get acclimated to being in a hunk of metal that defies the laws of physics and can plunge to my untimely death, the main reason was that I wanted to pay forward for the care that my child was going to have before we met her. Sappy, corny, cheesy, but true.
While waiting, among the mess of people at our departing gate, I spotted a couple. A normal couple, but from among the sea of people I remember being sure that they were on a journey like ours. I did not see them in Japan, and wondered why. We saw them in Guangzhou, at the White Swan with their baby girl. Who knew, not only do I have excellent gaydar (I need to post about sort of outing P's coworker, the man was in awe), baydar (baby radar, little people do things for me they do not usually do for their parents), but I also have Chinar.
My last e-mail or text was to Michelle. It was also as we were called to board the plane. I think P was on the phone with his sister. He had to cut the conversation short because it was time to depart and the hell if I wanted to wait an extra second to get to Baby S. I have heard many people speak negatively about "not having my own child." I loathe that expression. An argument often made is that 'true bonding" can only occur when one carries a child. Really? Then no father is ever bonded to their biological offspring! I am incredibly blessed to have experienced the birth of JJ and becoming SS's forever Mama. Completely different experiences, yet the same love and devotion for each child. Lets not forget that if all biological love was pure and everlasting there would be no need for CPS. Oh, and SS was fully and beautifully cooked when we met. HA! Getting off my high horse...
It was a life changing day, while we knew our lives would change, we had no idea the extent of what awaited us. Three years later we can't believe how fast time is flying by. Our Baby S is now SS, a four year old beauty, a true stunning creature of barely thirty pounds, but with a super hero alter ego. We marvel at this amazing gift daily, and are truly thankful that we are not the type to take ourselves or our parenting skills seriously. We royally screw up, and then we do our best to rectify our wrongs, and get through to SS that we are here forever, no givesie backsies. Not even when she becomes a defiant teenager and pushes our buttons like her brother did before her. And like then, we will fall on our swords about not being perfect, but will never waver on our commitment to our wondrous child.
SS, thank you for being such an amazing little girl, thank you for the laughter, but also for the tears. Because of you we are stronger, because of you we are once again blessed with unconditional love.