This was my view--briefly, as the train moved on--at dawn. Snow, snow, snow, with signs of life here and there: a dog in a yard, smoke in a chimney, a few solitary walkers or cars. But mostly, conifers and snow as far as I could see.
A few hours later, we met Curious Girl for the first time. "Hi there," I think I said to her. Not the most original line, but then, what did she know of English words? I smiled, and she looked to her caretakers. And then she looked at Politica, looked at me, with her big brown eyes. "Do you want to be Curious Girl?" I asked her later. We were still calling her by her birth name (now her middle name, which I frequently use along with her first name), very cautious about how things would proceed. One family we traveled with ended up adopting a different child than the one they had come to meet, because the first child's mother had come to the orphanage to visit while we were flying over. That was a good thing, Politica and I thought, but I'm not sure the other family would have agreed.
When I look back at the photos from this day, I'm always struck by what I see in Curious Girl that I couldn't know then. Her seriousness a coping strategy for stress. Her little hand curled up, rubbing her head, a way of comforting herself. Politica and I smiled a lot, but we also looked around in amazement a lot. What had we gotten ourselves into?
Halloweenlover had a post a few weeks ago wondering when she would feel like a mother. I don't remember feeling like a mother on the day I met CG. But I do remember feeling like I was falling into her big brown eyes, in a miraculous, out-of-time kind of way. I felt happy and sad and excited and curious all at once.
Tonight, she told me she loves me more than anyone else, and a few seconds later said she loved me and Politica more than anyone else. She's been talking about her birth parents, too, and wanting a daddy. There's a lot going on in her head as she learns, again and again, what family means.
Four years later, I know so much more about love, both between me and Politica and with Curious Girl. Love doesn't make the loss go away, but I hope it gives us the strength to help CG grow. So far, so good.
This feels unfinished, but Politica's at the door: and really, how to wrap up a post about such an amazing day?