Our Life a Year After Adoption
Looking at pictures of Korea together:
Me: Avi do you know who that is?
Avi: Umma. (foster mom’s name)
Me: Do you remember living with Umma?
Me: Did you like Umma?
Avi: Umma not home. Avi home now.
That little conversation took the wind out of me like a punch to the gut. And it was just as surprising. But that conversation sums up where we are now. I didn’t know she remembered anything from Korea, let alone had feelings like that about her life. Everyday she has more independent thought, creativity, and sensitivity to what's going on around her. That kiddo never ceases to amaze me.
Today is our family day, our 1 year anniversary of our daughter coming home from Korea. She had just turned 2 then. I thought about this day a year ago. Life was so crazy back then, it’s hard to believe I had the wherewithal to think about something as minor as this one year anniversary. We were losing our independence and our sleep by gaining a beautiful daughter. Despite all our preparation, we had no idea what we were in for. I wondered what our life would be like a year in. Were we going to be happy or regretful? Would Avi be progressing well or would we be one of the countless horror stories I’d read on the internet? It was such a huge, tumultuous change, I really couldn’t have predicted what I’d be saying. Honestly, I thought with as tough as things were going, could we possibly be in a good place? I wish I could have known then what I know now. It would have eased my worried mind.
I’m so happy to say things are going great. Avi is nowhere near the scared upset little girl we brought home. She’s having fun and smiles and laughs all the time. She’s growing not only physically, but mentally by leaps and bounds. She loves stories and swimming. She enjoys walking her bike around and tormenting the cat. We love the way she makes us laugh. She's shared life lessons such as “penguins are stinky, like my butt.” After a day at the zoo, I’m glad that was the take home.
She is so outgoing and friendly to everyone she meets. (with the exception of the kid she clubbed last week) She finds so much enjoyment in everything we do together no matter how simple. Happiness is effortless for her and that makes her a joy to be around.
When Avi came home from Korea, all of our worlds were turned upside down. It wasn’t a bad thing, but it was difficult. Avi’s best friend now is Lucy, our neighbor's daughter. She’s almost a year younger. Now, two year old Lucy is Avi’s age when she arrived. It amazes me the quality and quantity of thought coming out of her mouth. Lucy comments on everything. I know all that was trapped inside Avi when she came home. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must have been for her to have all those thoughts and be unable to express them. It’s no wonder we had so many meltdowns. But like all things, that passed with time. All those thoughts have found their way out. Now the flood gates have opened, and it's non-stop.
With as tough as this year was, all I can say is hopefully next year will be as good as this one has been. If I had to do it again, would I? Yes. Without a doubt, it’s been the most rewarding, life changing thing Ann and I have ever done. Would I have done anything different? I don’t think so. We’re where we are now because of every choice we’ve made, both good and bad. And that place has turned out to be pretty great.
That good life presented itself this morning as I was leaving for work. I told Avi goodbye as I do every day. She came up to me, put her arms up and said “hug please”. I knelt down and got a big hug with her head squeezed into the crook of my neck. After a long hug, she whispered in my ear, “I love you daddy”.
Wouldn’t change a thing that brought us here.
Not a single thing