One whole year. Guys, it’s been one whole year since I came to live with the mom’s. It’s been a crazy, whirlwind of a year, but I think overall it’s been pretty amazing. I feel so lucky to be living with my mom’s but really, I think that they might be the really lucky ones. They keep talking today about how much I’ve grown, how big and strong I’ve become and how I’ve come so much further than most people thought I would last August. The mom’s and I were talking about doing a big dinner/party to celebrate my anniversary but in the end we decided to have a really big party in August – to celebrate everything: my adoption, our family and mostly that I’m here, kicking butts and taking names. Life is good.
Have you missed me? Mama C has been hogging the spotlight lately to write about her “feelings”, but luckily I’ve been really busy so I forgive her and I’m ready to take back the reins. I hope she’s not too sad about it.
I really have been super busy. It’s just amazing how time flies when you’re learning so many new things. In March, the mom’s noticed that I had really stepped up my game in all of the things I was learning – I was reaching for toys that you put in front of me, I started enjoying being on my tummy and I started to rock at rolling over. So now the mom’s are making me do something called physiotherapy. I had been doing it with my OT Kristin, but because I’m also eating really well (like really really well people – I can gum a cheese puff like nobody’s business and don’t even get me started on how quickly I can swallow strained carrots), Kristin wants to be able to spend our OT time on eating, so now we do physiotherapy with another person. Sometimes I really like it – I get to play with different toys and we sing come songs while I rock back and forth, but other times it’s a lot of work and I’m not shy about letting everyone know that I’m totally into it. But we think that it’s working because I’ve been caught sitting on my own for longer and longer and the other day I even got to hang out on my hands and knees. The mom’s say that this is getting me prepped to start crawling. I’m not exactly sure what that is yet, but they say that I’m going to like it. I think it has to do with moving around the room and if I’m right about that I’m really excited! I LOVE to move. I don’t think I like anything better than starting in one spot and then finding myself on the opposite side of the room just by rolling and rolling. I’ve gotten stuck with my legs under the couch or the television stand but mostly I get completely stuck under the coffee table – those legs make it hard for me to keep going! Even when people are holding me, unless I’m in serious cuddle mode, I’ll squirm around until they get the hint (although sometimes I’m just tricking them and squirming around so that they’ll turn me around and I can stick my fingers in their mouth). Now that I’ve figured this out, there’s no stopping me.
Did you know that it’s almost been one whole year since I came to live with the mom’s? I can’t either. Sometimes it feels like yesterday but then I look at pictures and see just how tiny I was then – my hair was so short! On Sunday (May 27th) is the 1 year anniversary of when I came home to stay. It’s pretty exciting. And even more so now because the mom’s are just about to meet with my adoption worker and sign the papers that say that they really really want me as their daughter. Those papers will go to the CAS director and then onto the court. Once the court has it they will set a date for me and the mom’s to come in and they’ll make my adoption legal! It’s still about 3 months away, but the papers being signed is the very last step and so really it’s just around the corner. Don’t worry – I’ll tell you lots more about it when the time gets closer.
I know some of you have been wondering how I’m doing with all of my doctor’s visits, but the truth is, I’ve barely had any lately! I saw the ophthalmologist last week, who was really happy with how my eyes are doing. She just kept saying that I’ve surpassed any expectation they had of how well I would see – in fact, she thought that I would never see again, but I reminded her that my brain is a pretty amazing thing. We’re still noticing that I have some nystagmus, and that my eyes turn in a bit when I’m trying to focus on something, but the ophthalmologist also said that a lot of new babies have those issues when they’re learning to see and a lot of the time they correct themselves. She’s going to see me again in 6 months and she’ll decide then if she wants to do anything about it. I also have to go and see my cardiologist next week, but I’m not really sure why. I think the mom’s and I agree that I’m doing really well. I have lots of energy, I don’t get tired when I’m eating and my colour has stayed fantastic. I have to have a chest x-ray though and I really hate those. That’s when they stick me in the little tube so that I stay perfectly still while they take the picture. I’ll also have an EKG done to check how my heart is doing, but we’re secretly hoping that I’ll even get to come off the diuretic medication. But going to cardiology means that I also get a chance to go and visit my friends on 4D and show them how big I’ve gotten since they saw me in December. I think they’re going to be pretty impressed.
A mom post tonight….
I know that there’s been a higher ratio of Mom:Lily post’s lately and I promise she’ll be back in the writers seat soon, but just one more for now.
This was our first mother’s day – our first, real, mother’s day. We had a few people celebrate with us last year, as we knew right around the holiday that Lily’s birth parents and Children’s Aid had picked us to be her family, but this was the first year that we got to wake up in the morning, look at her all wrapped up in her black and white blanket made by her cousin Connie, and celebrate being her mother. It was an amazing feeling. One that I’ve wanted for such a long time.(Lily didn’t really make this cookie, but our amazing friend Cathy did and it’s just one of the reasons we love her in our lives)
But this mother’s day, like many others past, is tinged with sadness. Obviously it was our first mother’s day without Jess’s mom and that was odd. Just this time last year, we had decided that for future years we would bring both of our Mom’s together for the day so that we never had to choose between them. Sadly, life chose for us. Life this year, just in the past few days, also decided that it was time for my Aunt Gail to leave us too. This has left a hole in me that I haven’t quite figured out how to fill.
I wish that I was a talented enough writer to really explain to you what it was like to grow up in our family. Many of you know that my mother is one of 17 siblings, which in today’s society, is a huge huge number to wrap your head around. But beyond the strength of my grandmother to raise such a huge family in less than ideal circumstances, what amazes me most about them is how close they are even with such a huge age difference between them. We were never the family that only saw each other on holidays, we were constantly in and out of each other’s lives. I always say that I was raised by The Aunts, the women who were either related by blood or marriage, who set the most amazing example of how to be great mom’s – there are characteristics of each of them that I hope to bring to my own version of motherhood. I love them all, but at the same time, what’s been breaking my heart is that Gail was mine. Now, with 16 Aunts and Uncles, it also means that I have a LOT of cousins, and so maybe calling her mine (especially when she had her own son) is a bit selfish but I always felt that it was true. It was her lap that I would crawl into when we were all sitting around the table talking – I would play with her rings and be amazed that her fingernails were so long and were real. I loved watching her style her hair or put on her make-up. I loved going to visit her at work and was so proud that she was my aunt. When my friend Adrienne and I went out to PEI to visit when we were in university, I was thrilled when she pointed out how alike Gail and I were – that we tapped our fingers and the table the same way, that we both had ridiculous laughs that usually ended in snorting or that we both tried to make people feel at ease by making jokes – usually lighthearted, somewhat inappropriate and often self-deprecating.
Like everything else in life, it’s with a loss that we realize how much we truly loved. Knowing that she’s not here leaves me feeling empty and not sure how to share that with anyone else. I know that so many other people are missing her as much I do, or even more, but for now it just feels like my own grief, one that’s not ready to be shared.