We spent this weekend reminiscing. A lot.
It was 10 years ago that we were in China for the first time. Holding a feisty, determined, pint-sized survivor, with a half-dollar sized hole in her heart.
I still remember how it felt as those last moments inched by before I would finally become her mama: standing in a smoke-filled room, my ears filled with sounds of a language I didn’t understand, my sweaty palm clutching a frayed referral picture of a tiny baby.
When she was placed into my arms, by a nanny she clearly had no attachment to, she was silent and stony-faced. I held her, studied her and snuggled her. Then came the tears.
I’ve shared here before that, as a rule, we don’t celebrate gotcha day. Instead, we take the opportunity to talk about these first days, and how our family was formed, and then follow each child’s lead for how they want to spend the day. Or not, if they prefer.
This year, Isabelle’s eyes lit up when I reminded her of the day that was approaching. She was surprised that it had been 10 whole years (her words) since we became a family.
The next thing out of her mouth was, “Can we go to McDonalds and can I get a Happy Meal?”
We also, at her request, took some pictures to mark the day. With her favorite dog, in her second favorite dress. The one she wanted to wear was a long-sleeved sweater dress.
So very thankful that, at least this year, we were able to do something on this day that she really wanted to do, that brought her joy.
And so grateful to have a chance to look back and see what 10 years looks like.
From here, it looks breathtakingly beautiful.