Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Six months ago today

Six months ago today, Phoebe became our daughter. Just the night before, she arrived in our arms. Here is Phoebe, during our first minutes together.
That was a moment of such great joy for me, but you see Phoebe-- so much uncertainty. She woke up that morning with the only family she could remember, the foster family who had cared for her for just over a year. Many hours later, after a three hour bus trip with a bunch of babies and nannies she didn't know, she was placed in our arms. I remember the clicking noise she kept making in the back of her throat. I know Phoebe, and she certainly cries when she is scared, angry, or overwhelmed. She didn't cry that day. Not once. I think she must have been far beyond scared. Too scared to cry.

And this is Phoebe now:

This child has brought me so much joy. My favorite moment of the day is when I open the back door and hear the squealing of "Mama!!" with the pattering of feet, and then get bowled over by my two toddlers as they collapse in my arms with their giggles. When I watch her doing her naked butt-shaking dance, when she insists "Read it!" for the fifth time, when she curls up in my lap with her thumb in her mouth, when she outs her naughty trick with a proud shout of "I did it!"-- I just love her to pieces. Of all the children in the world, how did I get so lucky to have this one as my daughter?

On this Thanksgiving, I am so incredibly grateful that somehow in this big world, Phoebe came into our lives.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Overall, Phoebe is doing beautifully. But every once in a while there are reminders that she is still fragile. Two this week--

While the girls were watching Big Bird in China for the first time, during a sentimental song of "I love you" and "Hello" in both English and Mandarin, I leaned down to find Phoebe's eyes brimming with tears. I snatched her into my arms and called Mark over, and Phoebe gently touched our faces and peaked into Mark's pocket as single tear rolled down her cheek. No more Big Bird in China for a while.

Then I made a major attachment error, and left the girls napping with my parents in the house while I jetted to the store, two hours after my folks arrived for a visit. Phoebe woke up too quickly from her nap, and was not happy to find no mama, no papa, no nanny-- just Grammy and Opa, whom she knows but not too well. What worried me was the reunion. I found little Phoebe on the couch with tear-streaked face, thumb in the mouth, eye looking down. As I came in the door there was no relief, no happiness. Just that frozen thumb-in-the-mouth pose that didn't change when I held her, hugged her, kissed her. She didn't look at me for a good five minutes, then warmed up into her usual smiles. But it shook me up a little. Five months into our life together, Phoebe is still clearly afraid of abandonment. She's not yet 100% convinced that we are forever.

On a happier note, Halloween was fun! Miranda, who talks like mad these days, learned the word "candy," which had somehow eluded her until now. Phoebe's a little chocolate monster, too! Thankfully they forgot all about leftovers by morning-- I'm sure we won't be that lucky in another year or two!