Thursday, August 11, 2011

Walking Through Doors

When we were in China in September of 2002 adopting Ava, those first few days were admittedly grueling.  We were the happiest we had even been, the Muffin Man and me. We had the child of our dreams after surviving years of infertility and then my cancer.  Meeting Ava truly was a dream come true for us, an emotional high like we had never experienced.  For Ava, not so much. She grieved for someone, whom we never met.  She cried, she screamed, she refused to sleep, she needed to be constantly overstimulated to ignore and deal with the massive and unwelcome change in her life.

A few days of that and the Muffin Man and I were exhausted to say the least.  Of course, I had prepared for this moment in our lives by educating myself on several Chinese history eras.  I had taken Mandarin. This might be another reason why the change was so hard for us.  Had I to do it over again, I might have put down Mao's little red book and picked up something more along the lines of attachment bonding in institutionalized children.  Lessons learned.

While we were in China dear travel mates showed up at our room at one point.  They were experienced parents and were convinced they could calm our baby.  They tried, and Ava screamed harder rejecting their attempt to cuddle her, as she rejected us.  As they left our room walking out our hotel room Mr. dear travel mate said to me, "This too shall pass and she will be skipping off to kindergarten before you know it."

I'll never forget the sight of him walking out that door, leaving us to again attempt to calm our beloved baby.  I couldn't imagine he would be right.  The thought of kindergarten seemed about as close as the possibility of us boarding a rocket ship.  

But he was right.  Now that baby walked through our front door and is starting 4th grade.  Her baby sister, is now the kindergartener.  And, for the first time in 9 years the house is quiet from 7:45am to 3pm.

  As they skipped out the front door and over to the bus stop, I was reminded of those sage words in China.  "Before you know it she will be in Kindergarten." 

Liv saw the bus, squealed with delight and immediately hopped on. She gave a short wave and that was it.  It was like that tiny body got swallowed up by a huge yellow sponge.  There was no fear walking through that door.  You have to admire that in a kid.

And there it is.  One of life's biggest milestones met, wearing a backpack as big as she is while wearing a pink dress.  


Stacia said...

Beautiful story, wonderfully told.

Traci said...

Love it!

The years have flown by haven't they? Happy five years as a family of four!

We miss you and hope that all is very well!

Enjoy the quiet. It's weird over here too, but somehow I'm secretly enjoying the moments alone. It's been a long time for us too.


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