all mine

At first all you can do is love the idea of them, these strangers that will be your kids.  You don’t know if they’re boys or girls or infants or toddlers, but you feel like you love them.  Then you see that first photo and you say yes and you ask if you can tell people, if you can count on it, and you hear that you can show that photo and smile and call that beautiful stranger your daughter.  You love her cheeks and her eyes and you love to wonder about her personality.  You love that people say she looks just like you and even though it’s crazy you can’t help but agree.  You love the idea of her even more and you love looking toward your future with her and her new and yet unknown sister, this stranger that now has a face and name.  Then you see another photo and are asked how she looks to you and all you see is another stranger but somehow you know she’s that first little girl’s big sister.  You know she’s yours and you say yes and get to call another beautiful stranger your daughter.  You picture their sweet little faces smiling and imagine a laugh and wonder what they think is so funny.  You think about reading with them and playing and cuddling after knees get scraped.  You think about tipping over towering blocks and running through sprinklers.  Then a day or two later you realize she’s not still standing there, right there in the market where the photo was taken.  Then it’s hard to think about sprinklers and books.  You can only think about what they’re doing now, how they are now and who is caring for them.  Except you might think about high school graduation and you feel like they’ll just barely make it home in time for the party, as long as the adoption process takes.  Two governments, different languages, different continents, and endless paperwork make you wonder how it’s possible that it will ever work out to get them home, these beautiful strangers from another world who somehow will end up being yours.  Then they’re home and they’re still strangers, but now you get to love them for real.  You get to know them and love them for who they are.  You learn that the laugh you imagined wasn’t even close and you’re more amazed than you thought possible looking into those dark eyes and you shake your head in wonder.  You tell them, those strangers, your daughters, that you are theirs.  You are their mama.  Forever.  You are theirs.  You tell them a lot because it’s hard to believe and hard to understand and even harder to accept, so you tell them again and again.  I am yours, your mama, forever.  You don’t notice it happening, but little by little they become more and more yours too, no matter how much they seemed like it at first.  Even though you share them with their unknown first mamas, they’re still yours.  And these two silly, smart, brave and wonderful girls are mine, all mine.




10 Responses to “all mine”

  1. 1 kim
    March 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Makes me smile and tear at the same time. Again, you are all so lucky to have each other.

  2. 3 Carrie
    March 20, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Oh my goodness, that photo is so precious.

  3. 5 Priscilla Sailors
    March 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Love, love, the photo. And the wonderful, insightful words. What a great mama they got and what great little girls that mama got. ALL YOURS! Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 01:40:22 +0000 To: sailor5048@hotmail.com

  4. March 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Beautifully written! I have not read your blog in forever and am so glad to have come back today to read your amazing post and see the girls in their hula outfits! Hope you guys can make it to Seattle sometime soon!

  5. 9 Suzanne
    March 31, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    This entry made me cry!! LOVE the picture! Cannot wait to know my sons in person! It’s been a long year for us and we’re still waiting, but reading your blog and other adoptive mama blogs make the wait almost bearable. Thank you. (Your blog was the first one I started following and it was right when you left for Africa…you were going to meet your girls and we had just gotten our referral!! Yes, what a year!!)

    • April 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

      I am so sorry you are still waiting. Your boys need to be home!! Every day is one less day you have to wake up without them home. You’ll get there, one awfully hard day at a time.

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