Adoption day

After the country wide lockdown ended, we were finally able to travel and see our youngest daughter. Ah! Sweet reunion! She ran into our arms and stayed like that for a while.

To this day I remember my dad’s facial expression, his eyes, his smile, welcoming me in his big strong arms, as I ran to him barefoot on the gravel road. He came to my grandma’s house in the mountains, bringing watermelons, after we spent the summer vacation there. I had longed for my parents, though I truly enjoyed the summers I spent with my grandmother, and cousins, the cat, the dog, the ducks, all in the quiet and fresh air near the pine wood forest.

My expressive face resembles my dad’s (and I wasn’t always happy about that because I thought my mom was much prettier than my dad:) but I can see now why kids are drawn to me. We lock eyes and the world around us fades away.

We are in the last phase of our adoption matching. Counting the days till we bring Evelyn home for good. Meanwhile, we visit her at the foster family.

Today is adoption day. We took Jackie’s scooter and Ivy’s scooter in the car and drove an hour past many villages to pull into her street and walk to her gate. She saw us walking up and ran to open the gate. We spent two hours, walking up and down the newly paved street. The girls have been riding the scooters and goofing around. And Evelyn has been introducing us to all the neighbors as her parents.

We waved at the trains, about 7 train passed by in one hour, and the conductors have been waving back. Why does this childish action make me feel so warm and fuzzy inside?

Then for another hour Jaclyn and Evelyn played together with toys and visited the farm animals. But then, we had to say goodbye… yet again. Leaving her behind is harder and harder. She gets upset, crosses her arms and says we aren’t allowed to go. Then she says she’s very busy and turns around to leave, not wanting to say goodbye. She frowns and pouts, but in a discreet, kind of way.

She calls us in the morning, she calls in the evening. She asks us to show her room, and see what her sister is doing. But her sweetest reaction is when she sees her Daddy. She absolutely adores Conrad. What’s not to love about him?

She likes to travel up on his shoulders, up high, stroking his head, kissing the top of his head, resting her cheek on his shaved top. Then she giggles a sweet laughter.

Jackie has had to forgo those shoulders a few years ago, as she grew taller and heavier. But now, when Ivy is on daddy’s shoulders I get to give Jackie a piggyback ride. Just for a little while. These days Jackie needs more snuggles and affirmation and cuddles and love. We pull ourselves by our bootstraps from the pit of sadness of delay, worrying some for Ivy’s heart and assurance, and for all our readiness to embrace the biggest life change yet.

It is adoption day… but today our cup has been filled with newly made memories, riding the scooters and waving at trains. Grateful that we can see each other, even if she is not home yet.