It’s slightly below zero, and cold rain drizzles constantly, settling in a slush mixed with months of frozen dirt n the streets. Gallons of heavy rain might wash it all off by Spring.

Today we went swimming again, and Jackie started swimming longer distances under water. She tells me “go farther mommy! I’ll swim to you!” She is very daring, very courageous. The blue of the pool, the warm of the spa after we swim… music to our bones.

We have by now established a comfortable routine, which will change yet again next week, as she begins kindergarten. We go swimming in the morning, and after that, we take a shower, go to the sauna for 5 minutes, drink a bottle of milk or juice, eat a banana, eat a kinder chocolate, come home, have lunch and she naps for 2 hours. After the nap we read books all afternoon, go for walks, watch pixar cartoons, and invent all kind of games.

We have all been sick. We felt the pain more acutely than she did. Or she is not a complainer, and her energy is unstoppable. She has been going to her grandparents for an hour or two often, in the evening, and that has offered Conrad and I a wonderful time alone.

A few things Conrad said at key times, words spoken gently and intently that made such an impression on me: “how can I make you day easier?” after cooking, soothing, cleaning, answering questions… him seeing me an offering such an open invitation to be loved, I become yet again aware of Conrad’s heightened emotional intelligence.

Jaclyn, if she had a long day, an intense day, she calls out to me to “hold her like a baby” (her words). I love the weight of her body, as she curls up on my lap, resting, relaxing, getting her cup filled… We continue to learn more about each other, what makes us tick, what warms our heart, what to expect, reactions and discipline… unconditional love as well as “when no means no”.

This month I get to say “yes” in front of a judge: “yes, I will adopt Jaclyn forever and for good”. I remembered the first morning when Jaclyn climbed up in our bed to snuggle, for tickles and to play …and our house was filled with joy. I remembered vividly how I felt that morning that the gift of this child is pure gold, and it has already been given to us in abundance. We don’t live in the future of this adoption. We live in the present. And it is wonderful.