This week is a triggering week for me. It's tough. I was in foster care originally and the paperwork was dealt with December 31st. My adoptive parents were skiing and it was a holiday weekend, so they didn't get the call they had been chosen until January 2nd. They have five days to prepare for me and somehow with the help of all their friends and family, they were able to get ready for a baby in five days.
I've always known this part of my story, but I've never appreciated it as much as I do this year. Saturday is my Adoption Day, and Sunday will be my own baby shower for my little one. My experience has been so different from my mother's in almost every way. We've been planning and figuring things out for months. I was able to register, to tell my hostess my preferences (I'm really not into shower games personally and she agreed to keep them out), and to anticipate knowing what was going on. My mom didn't have any of that. She didn't even know she was getting a baby. They had five days to get everything they needed, pick a name, and prepare to be parents. The eight months I've had so far seems like it's been too quick, so I can't even imagine 5 days.
This year I miss my mom the most at this time of year. I've never enjoyed celebrating my Adoption Day because let's be real, I lost a lot that day. I've been more neutral about it the past few years because I've chosen to view that day as the day I gained my family. I mean, I lost everything pretty much the day I was born. The paperwork was signed a different day that I didn't know about until a few years ago so that was never a "big thing" for me. And then we bacame a family in January. I was over 2 months old at that point.
I've recently been watching the home video from that day. My parents lived in a two family at the time and their friend lived upstairs. He videotaped the entire day (with commentary) and I have to say it's amazing to have now. As hard as it can be to watch at times, I'm so glad that I have it. My parents were so thrilled and amazed to have me as their daughter. It makes a girl feel loved! And my entire family comes to the house to welcome me. Other than a few insentive comments (cough cough looking at YOU grandma!), for the most part people are really respectful and it's nice to see how happy they are to welcome me to the family. And it's funny to watch my dad almost drop me at one point. And so many of the people in that video are gone at this point. It's a nice memory to have even if I don't remember it first hand.
So I'm stocking up on tissues and will most likely hunker down for Saturday so that by Sunday I'm close enough to happy again. And someday I'll share that video with my daughter, who hopefully will have a much different video of her first day home (is it sad that I already have the camcorder charged and ready to go?). But some things will be the same, the love and welcoming she will recieve as she joins our family.