Wednesday, August 4, 2010

She's 4!

Y woke up on Tuesday stretched her arms and proclaimed "I'm four. I'm bigger!" (and according to her Dr today, she has grown 2 inches since Jan! Still no poundage...) it really possible that we have a four year old? No longer a baby, or a toddler, but a real live preschooler! (Who is starting preschool in a mere two weeks! Still gotta get the 'ol Catholic School uniform...Aagh!) Let me repeat that; I am a parent to a preschooler! Sure, we always said that she was a preschooler last year, but let's be real, that was like, uber preschool. This is for real!

Leading up to her birthday, I have been feeling very nostalgic. Partly it's the "I missed XXX amount of time in your life and don't want to miss more" And that is certainly true. But I think I have also been trying to make sense of who she was before we knew her and who she is becoming, and wondering how the two connect. Has she always been this smart? Has she always loved candy? Has she always been this active? Has she always had a sense of humor? What parts of her have been influenced by her growing up environment, her transitions and now her arrival to what is now called "home?" Of course much of this will remain a mystery. But I think part of the adoption experience, both for the child and parents, is attempting to put the pieces together and meaning make. I've certainly been doing that lately.

I'm trying to put together the years of her life (YEARS!) that we all lived without knowing each other; and then the (YEARS!) that we lived while knowing each other, but not living together as a family. I'm thinking about how hard it must have been for her, even subconsciously so, to have changed caregivers a minimum of four times in her little life (not accounting for the change of workers within those homes). Or how scary it must have seemed when N told her he would come back for her, but then it took sooo long. What does she think about that? Does she think that people come and go, or does she realize that this time it is forever?

I guess only time will show how she processes all of these experiences and moments; how all of us process our memories. But I do know that the memories that we shared for her fourth birthday, or "her first birthday home" will be remembered by us for a long time. Friends, pinatas, cakes, cupcakes, bowling, injera, doesn't get much better than that!

We love you sweet Y! Happiest of Happy Birthdays!