This week, despite being hot and sticky and us being sick, is still a special one around here.
It is, first off, the birthday week of Stinkerbelle’s most excellent Auntie Heather. She is Swedish, so her birthday celebrations — ALL celebrations, actually — take on a festival quality and last much longer than a single day. And as she has gone and kicked cancer’s ass this year, it is truly a time to celebrate. So happy birthday Heather!
But beyond that, and I happen to think more than coincidentally, Auntie Heather’s birthday shares the very same day that, two years ago, we received our referral for That Baby, and saw her gorgeous face for the first time. It was an excellent day.
We don’t celebrate our referral anniversary in any special way anymore — the first year, yes we did. But now there is so much more to celebrate. Our lives are full every day of the joys that that first day would one day bring. It still holds a special place in our hearts, though, and of course always will.
I look back on those first photos and can’t help but cry. She was so tiny. She was barely 6 weeks old. She had such long fingers and such big eyes and such awesome hair. And she was ours.
Every single day since that day has been a blessing I could never have imagined, but always hoped for. She is a child of superlatives. She is so good, so good-natured, so happy, so well-behaved, so funny, so beautiful, so full of love. We could never have hand-picked a child so perfect and so perfect for us. She is the child of our dreams.
We look back and, while it was hard for us at the time, we realize how incredibly fortunate we were in our adoption of Stinkerbelle. I will never forget the agonizing waiting periods, the frustrating paperwork, the whole heartwrenching process. But we are reminded regularly that it was, compared to many families’ experiences, so easy.
Every day, I hold her close, and I remind myself just how incredibly lucky we are. How blessed.
Our lives started over again on that day in 2008. Like another birthday. We were given the chance to live a life we had only ever dreamed of. And we are making, and will continue to make, the most of every single day together.