Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Birthday #1

Dessi is going to turn 3 on October 13, but we decided to celebrate her birthday in August.

We have a pretty darned joyous kid to start with, but I have to say, I have never seen her so happy as she was at that party. It was one of the best days of my life as well; any happy day of Dessi's is a happy day of mine. The best part was that wasn't about the gifts (no gifts, please) or really even about her so much -- it was about celebrating! Friends! And playing tag and hide-and-seek and, for the adults, eating and drinking wine and laughing our tails off at all the amazing, sweet children in our lives.

And of course, what party would be complete without turning over the mesob and then popping out of it like a lady from a cake? (We adults looked up from our wine glasses and the kids were all doing this. Hilarious!)

There was also soooo much food and some cheesecakes

The last little boy in the picture is her best friend, Aidan. Everyone at the party was like, WHO is that sweet little boy?!?! He and Dessi completely adore each other. They dance together at our weekly farmers' market, they are playmates at school (many a time I would arrive to pick Dessi up from Montessori and she and Aidan would have their heads together in a corner somewhere or, my favorite, once they were in a distant field, he pulling her in a red wagon). Aidan brought Dessi a butterfly balloon for her birthday and he was just bursting at the seams to give it to her (she was napping for the first half hour). He is an amazingly open-hearted little boy. At one point during the party I was sitting with his parents and he was running with the other kids around the yard ... as he ran by us he shouted, "I"M HAVING FUN, MOM!!" Kids just slay me. His brother, Sam, is just as darling.

We are surrounded by aunties and good parents and sweet friends. It is a joy beyond words to have people like this with whom to celebrate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Update from Addis

More pictures arrived last week -- the newest littlest one seems to be doing alright. She is absolutely precious. I have been trying not to look at photos or think too much about it -- just play it cool and bide my time until court opens (8 days!) and we can at least be moving toward a court date. Right now, we're not moving toward anything -- just floating, floating, waiting, waiting. Patience, patience.

She is 11 weeks and not quite 10 pounds. Teeny tiny! And yet the child has the head of a melon! She could grow to be six feet tall and her head would be fine just as it is. But as of now she is ... ten pounds. Can you imagine? I can't. I pick up things around the house that are ten pounds and I try to see what it is like to hold such a weight, such a small thing. It is like air. With such a fragile, tiny thing in tow I will no doubt return to creating worst-case scenarios for every room, vehicle or situation we encounter for the next several years. This will simply be my job, and I will not judge it this time around. (Oh, how things will be different this time! I will be calmer and more prepared! Less overwhelmed and worried! More present! Yes! Yes! Yes!)

As excited and impatient as we are to bring her home, I am also strangely calm and ... content. Our lives are gorgeous, and I'm finally getting enough sleep so that I can see it. We're balanced and easy and hitting our stride. Beyond any reasons I could list, our little family seems to be completely ... I don't know. Happy. Quietly happy, ebulliently happy. Happy sleepers, eaters, play dough designers, gardeners, bicycle riders, vehicle passengers. We even come out of time outs pretty happy.

We are very, very far from Square One. The poop, the laundry, the messes, the tied-down-to-a-schedule, I don't mind those things so much. The loss of sleep is what I fear. I really do. I'm a much better person with a solid niner each night, and I am no fool; I know I am not going to have one again for a really, really long time.

Nonetheless. I cannot wait for all ten pounds to be hoisted on my back forever. I can't wait to feel her weight on my chest as I sing her to sleep, I can't wait for the passing of hours and days and days again, and my being intertwined with another being too perfect and tiny for so many words. Of just gazing -- because for so long there will be no words -- and of knowing and conveying, This is how we are now. Forever. We are ready for her!!

Last night I tried to rock Dessi to sleep and have her rest her head on my chest the way she used to. She wanted nothing to do with it. Just Bounce me, mama and Sing me songs and Let's clap and wiggle! And then a swift hug and a kiss and off to bed. I see her moving away from us in this heartbreakingly beautiful way -- our bright, sweet, delicate light. She is strong and perfect and confident and I love it, but I miss her, too. I miss her needing me the way she used to.

Which is all a surprise to me. All that needing was sometimes a bit overwhelming, to tell the truth, and I kinda thought we were adopting again not to fill our needs but to give the universe back some of this love overflow -- because we are fat and happy and blessed. I can see now, though, that a second child won't soak up the leftover love; she will create more. Just seeing her pictures and thinking about her, I realize she already has. I think it will break my heart wide open forever.