Thursday, February 9, 2012
It's tomorrow in China now, I guess, but here it's still February 9, Gracie's third birthday.
I doubt she knows that it's her birthday. I don't think that birthday's are a big deal in China, certainly not in the orphanage, and even more so for a little girl who doesn't have any language.
But I know! And I wonder how we'll celebrate it next year. Pink cupcakes and a princess party? Or as a friend (also mom to a Gracie, who happens to be one of the coolest kids I've ever known) pointed out, maybe it will be blue cupcakes and fire trucks and light sabers. Or maybe no cake at all, if she is like a certain Chinese friend of ours, who never touches the stuff. I can't wait to find out what she likes, what she'll want, who she is. So much will change for her, a9nd for me, in the next year.
So tonight I am mostly looking forward (and looking at my to-do list, and freaking out, but that's another post), but I am also looking back. I'm imagining the day (or night) she was born. I'm wondering about her first family, how they prepared for that day, how they felt, how they came to make the decision that they couldn't parent her. The reality of China adoption is that we'll probably never know. There is no legal process for "making an adoption plan" in China. There is no mechanism for children adopted from China to find out about their origins, in most cases (although there have been a few instances of finding first families, it's exceedingly rare. China is a huge country, and Grace is from a big city, so the odds are slim). There will always be questions, wonderings, unknowns. Someday Gracie will probably ask all those questions. I can only hope that I can help her find answers that she can be at peace with.
So far now I look back at Gracie's past, with a little sadness for what she (and her first family) have gone through. And I look forward with joy and anticipation and not a little anxiety about how this will go, what it will be like, if I will be good enough! And nothing is for certain, except that this is the last birthday that she will spend without a family.
So happy birthday baby girl! I hope you had a good day! I'm counting the days until I see your sweet face!