By now you may have already read that the awesome Rana has finished her 40 Days of Change. (Yay Rana! Way to go sister friend!) Well, I still have a few days left on mine, but I am doing pretty well.
You remember what I had resolved to do: 1) I was going to say something nice to myself in the mirror each day, and b) I was going to do one thing each day to get ready for the adoption. Well, I have to tell you, it’s amazing how just doing a very small thing each day can change your outlook.
One of the things I wanted to do in preparation for Mystery Baby Girl was to hang our wedding pictures up on the wall. Now, I know you’re scratching your head at how our wedding pictures can possibly be a way to prepare for our adoption. But really, it is. At least, it is to me.
See… Children love photos. They love to look at themselves in photos. They love to see people they know in photos and make the connection: “This is ______.” I remember my nieces running over and cooing over and kissing a photo of my mom, even though she died 20-something years before they were born. And I remember when my nieces were tiny, walking around and carrying them to look at pictures of family, and point and have them tell me who each one is. It’s part of being a part of a family, to me — and, I am sure, something I probably did as a child, too.
Now, I am extremely camera-shy. I flee from getting my picture taken, and I am actually physically upset by the thought of other people having pictures of me. I am very, very unphotogenic, and absolutely loathe looking at myself in pictures. Combine that with a very poor self-image and you end up with very few photos of me at all. So it was a really big deal for me to get photos done at my wedding.
But one of the motivators for me to have wedding photos done was that if I were to die, particularly if I were to die young as my mother did, I wanted my children to have pictures of me. They might not remember me, but I wanted some evidence that I actually existed. I know, it sounds foolish, but that’s the truth. It was important to me because photos are all I had of my mom, really. A couple of blurry memories, and a couple of photos of a very pretty young woman who became my mom.
So I wanted my kids to have photos of me. And I wanted my kids to be able to look at my pictures and not be ashamed of how their mother looked. If that was all they had of me, after I was gone, I did not want them to remember an ugly mom.
So I got all dolled up — my salon gurus rocked my hair and makeup like I could not have imagined — and I had spent months getting fit and healthy in preparation for pictures. We got a lot of photos done on our wedding day, and I really actually like the pictures we had taken.
Well, now it’s 5 years later. I’m still around — I’ve outlived my mom by a few years now. I am still as phobic as ever of getting my picture taken — probably even moreso because I am overweight now — but now, we are *this close* to actually having a family. So it was time to put a few of our wedding snaps up on the wall. I want to be able to walk Mystery Baby Girl around and look at pictures and point and identify her favourite people, just like I have done with all the babies in our family. I want her to be able to point and show me Mommy and Daddy and Grammie and Granddad and all her aunties and uncles and cousins and all the people who love her. And then, I want her to be able to point at photos of her, too. I want her to identify her place in this family.
But it all starts with those wedding pictures.
And now, as I walk by, every time I look at these pictures, hanging on the wall, I feel really content. I feel like somebody lives in this house and calls it home. I feel like this is a place where a family lives. And I know that our daughter will have pictures of me, and that’s important.
And I feel like now, we’re that much more ready to bring our girl home.