It seems odd to me that all Owen has ever known is Keith and me, and all Ari has ever known is Owen, Keith and me. But Eva, she has known many caregivers, many other children in Baby House #3, no parents to claim as her very own, not even toys or clothing that are for her and her only. Everything is public property, even the caregivers, who are pulled in as many directions as there are babies. By the time we bring her home, she will already have over a year's worth of history and memories that don't involve me at all, or Keith, or her soon-to-be brothers. I won't remember seeing the tiny white corner of her first tooth poking through, or the moment she figured out how to clap, or the first time she murmured da-da-da-da. She will make some big adjustments, figuring out that we're not going anywhere, learning to trust us as her parents, laying claim to us as her own, staking out her territory at home, her own toys and clothes. What will be going through her mind? I can't imagine.
But I do know that sometime in the near future, our worlds are going to collide in a major way. At some point, our lives are going to meld, and then it won't be Eva's life and our life, it will just be ours. Our family legacy will embrace this little girl who came to us through the miracle of adoption, and she will take on our name, and we will take on her future. And at that moment, she will stop being "the baby we're adopting" and will become our daughter, and her history will be ours, and ours will be hers. Our family will include this sweet little Asian face, and our story will include an orphanage in Kazakhstan, and she will be able to talk about how in August of 2004 her baby brother was born, even though we had not yet glimpsed her gorgeous face at that time. Because she is ours, all ours, to share in everything we have (although it's not much), and we will be hers, and that is so important to me. Kazakhstan, America, their respective histories and traditions, the circumstances that brought Keith and I together, my job that offers adoption benefits, the woman who gave birth to a little baby girl in March 2004 and for whatever reason decided she couldn't keep her, Baby House #3, our adoption agency, everything that leads up to the moment that little girl finds her way into my arms, they will all melt like stained glass into the mosaic that makes up our family, just the five of us.
I am terrified every day that something will happen between now and August that will keep us from our little girl. I guess pregnancy has the same risks. I always thought adoption would be such a joyful time - and it is, don't get me wrong. But it has its trials and tribulations just like pregnancy. It wears on me the same way. I think your children, no matter how they come to you, are on your mind constantly, with worry and with joy. It's exhausting, but in the best sort of way.
Still waiting on one form from the government, the I-71H. I am literally dreaming about that form now. Hurry up, hurry up!