Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gotcha' Day

Last Monday was Isabella's Gotcha Day.  I can't believe it has been 6 years since the woman at the US Embassy asked me if I would adopt her if she was in the United States, and I replied "Yes, in a New York minute".  What a time to quote Bill Bonds.  Then with a click of her stamp we were a family...forever.

This year Isabella has been interested in her Birthmother.  I showed her the one picture of her I have with her holding Isabella.  We had a few discussions about what a brave thing she did by allowing me to adopt Isabella.  I think Isabella "gets" about 60% of these discussions.

I've always said Isabella looks like my Dad.  Not so much anymore.  She has his sense of timeliness-God help me. I know there are people who think she looks like me, but really she looks somewhat like her birthmother.  All I really know is that I adore those big brown eyes, those amazing eyelashes and that laugh.  I've never met anyone who likes to be tickled before in my life.  But she sure does. 

Tonight I told her the story about what we did 6 years ago today.  We went to Church (she had a little sailor outfit on complete with hat) and all the ladies in the back 2 pews made eyes at her.  We went to the scrapbook store so I could show her off to all my friends.  And we went to the Art Gallery Doris and Gary Galvin used to own.  Gary's Dad and my Dad were best friends.  Gary cried when he saw her; I was overwhelmed with his response.

But yet I understand.  There are moments I look at her and I just want to cry.  I just can't believe it is my responsiblity to raise this amazing child.  And I am thankful, I will be forever thankful to the woman who gave birth to my baby and made the ultimate sacrifice to not be her mother. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

An ending...a beginning

Tonight was Isabella's Kindergarten Graduation.  How did that happen??  It seems like yesterday she was this extraordinary small thing in my arms.  Or that she'd decided it was time to potty train.  Or that she was, you know, just a baby.

I can't believe how much my girly girl has changed this year.  It's not just the fact that she's reading at almost a 2nd grade level, or doing simple addition and subtraction with ease.  She has changed.  I can actually explain to her WHY she can't do something, have something, etc. and she actually listens and makes a judgement call on the WHY.  (Not that meltdowns don't occur, every 6 year old has to "keep face" sometimes, you know.)

I am beginning to be able to use REASON with her.  Now, don't get me wrong, frequently the reason is because I'm the Mom and I said so.  Period.  But when we are having a particularly bad moment, hour, day over really nothing, I can ask her, "Are you having fun, because I'm not having fun arguing about {name something stupid}"  And 7 times out of 10, there is no more discussion.

I am hoping this is the new beginning.  The beginning of CALM.  Now, for those of you who know my daughter and have ever entered into debate with her, I am not delusional, foolish, crazy, etc to think my house will now be a place of butterflies, woodland creatures and sweet singing birdies.  But a relative time of less drama. 

I fully plan on hearing: "you're a bully" (one of her favorites), "you're mean", "stop it now", "don't tell me again" (one of my favorites)...on a daily or hourly basis depending on how it's going.  But I think (or maybe it's only hope) that reason will occasionally overrule, for both of us.



So those are just some of my thoughts on the day of my sweet child's graduation from Kindergarten.