Thursday, February 24, 2011
Today marks the most life changing event of my and Martin's lives. One year ago today, Olivia was placed in our arms permanently. It's hard to believe a year has gone by. But then again, so much has happened in a year that we forget that she has only been home for a year. She has grown so much since we brought her home.
I used to smile when I hear people talk about these GOTCHA days. I hear stories of elaborate parties, gifts, and activities. I always thought the day that you get that beloved "referral" was the day to mark on the calendar. It was kind of silly to celebrat GOTCHA days because really you "get" your child when they are referred to you. But now I get it. When birthparents have their child, they celebrate it as the birthday. They don't celebrate the "day they get home from the hospital". I get it. As parents to Olivia now, we celebrate the GOTCHA day because she was placed in our arms on February24th. Lucky for her, Papa makes every event in this journey a big deal. Birthdays will be larger than she is, "referral" day will just as big because it falls on Papa's birthday as well. The first time we met Miss O falls on Tita Melissa's birthday - February 22nd. A year ago seems like a lifetime because so many milestones and events happened this year.
So many things have changed, and then again so many things haven't. As we speak, she is sleeping soundly in OUR bed. A year ago, I was still rocking her our the glider and singing her songs to sleep - Bon Do Do, You are my Sunshine, and Baby Beluga were her favourites. Then I would place her in the crib when she was finished her bottle. Now, every night Martin and I would turn in to bed and cuddle beside her. Sometimes, she would roll on my side for part of the night, and then make her way to Papa's side and play with his hair. We've gotten used to this routine. We have gotten used the warm body in the middle (thank goodness for king size beds!). Now we would read some "livres - a book" (she would say it like that), and then climb into bed. She still plays with my hair before she dozes off, but not until she sings ME a song. Last night was "Skip to My Lou".
Today, Papa picked her up from daycare. The best decision we made to place her in this "school". She's confident, happy, and coming home with new things everyday. Somedays, Martin and I would just stare in disbelief when she did something out of the ordinary. Lately, she has been sitting in her highchair and counting to 14 independently! Last time this year, she was not a happy camper. hahahahaha. She was in this new apartment with strange new people all around her. Ugh...breaks my heart just thinking about it. Foster mom said she didn't like strangers, people wearing black or wearing sunglasses. ????? Today, she is the most sociable happy baby. She walks up to strangers and waves, says "hi!". SO much has happened in a year.
For dinner today, we celebrated at our favourite hamburger place. This time last year, Grandmaman and Grandpapa served us McDonald's with (very expensive) wine - for lunch, dinner, and I think the breakfast next day. Thank God that McDonalds across the street just opened. We were tempted to recreate the dinner seen. I remember being so exhausted physically and emotionally that day. Physically because our of whirlwind travel, and then caring for this 20llb bundle of joy. Holding her and bouncing her so she would stop crying. Emotionally drained because THIS day had finally come. After years and years of waiting to build our family. In a way, Olivia exhausts us the same way she did 1 year ago. Physically, because we run around constantly to catch her. hahahha Ugh..these toddler years definitely have made us more fit. Emotionally, we are not drained, but so happy, constantly worrying about her wellbeing and happiness. A glass of wine would have been great today. hahahahha. So much has happened in a year.
Today when we came home. Olivia, on her own, went to the living room and went through the photo albums on the table. She has done this a couple of times, but for some reason, she went to the album with her baby pictures in it and pointed to herself and said "O-i-via". Crazy! Then she went through our family album looking at pictures of me and Papa. One day, she'll undertand the stories that go with the pictures. One day, she will relive the "Gotcha Day" with us through stories, videos and pictures. But now, there is so much to learn and do THIS year. Looking ahead to the next year with our precious little Miss O. It'll fly by again I'm sure.