One year ago today, we adopted Emily. Hard to believe it's been a year! It certainly seems like a lifetime ago that I sat in court with a three month old in my arms, raised my right hand and promised I would take care of her forever.
Adoption day is a very special day and families find lots of ways to celebrate those moments. I think adoption day should be celebrated, however you choose. I've been thinking about how I want to celebrate this day today and forever. I want to make it special. I know parts of it will be bittersweet. We can't celebrate her life in this family without acknowledging the lives of the people in her other family. I want Emily to know and understand that adoption is a special thing. It's not obvious to anyone that she is not biologically my child. We look remarkably alike. But I find myself wanting to tell people sometimes that we adopted her. (And not that she is adopted because the word "adoption" should be used to define or describe her. But that we adopted her. As an action, a verb. Something that took place at a point in the past. It's very important for me to make that distinction as well.)
I somehow have to tie up all of those feelings and hopes and package them into one day. Not an easy task, huh? I realize I'm putting too much pressure on myself and emphasis on this one day. It's not like we don't have 364 other days to celebrate or talk about adoption. So I acknowledge I need to take a step (or 15) back. Today is not about all my mixed up emotions. Today will be special because it's about Emily and Emily is special.
Today on this one year anniversary, we will read "Happy Adoption Day" and we will tell her the story of Emily. I will buy her a present and we will eat cake or chocolate pudding (a new favorite). In the years to come, we will find other ways to celebrate. As Emily gets older, I'd like for her to decide what she'd like to do on her special day. Maybe she will want ice cream for breakfast. Or maybe she will want to stay home from school and take a family adventure somewhere fun. Maybe she will want to read the letter her birthmom wrote her the day we left the hospital. Maybe she won't want to do anything.
Whatever this day is or isn't, it will always be Emily's day. So, here's to you Emily! Amazing, sweet, and wonderful Emily. Happy Adoption Day!