Today marks the day that G was handed over to me. Or to say it another way, the day I held my daughter for the first time. In her eyes, however, she was being handed over to an ogre and was sorely afraid. We have the pictures to prove it, heh. I mentioned to her earlier this week that our family day was coming up by saying, "This is the day you met me and fell madly in love with having a mama." (tongue in cheek, of course)
To which she replied, "Yeah, well, I didn't like you at first."
Then I said, "Yes, well, I am not sure you like me still."
I gave her a set of mudlove bracelets: one says "Forever" and the other says "Family." I have a matching set as well. When I told her last night I wanted to give her something for forever family day (which after 8 years she has come to expect) she said, "Okay. But I won't be happy or excited about it."
"Fair enough," I said.
Just so she doesn't sound like an ungrateful child to all my readers by her making that statement, she meant for me not to expect her to jump up and down and scream for joy. She is almost as stoic as my dad at least in her own mind. And to some extent she doesn't like that kind of attention displayed on her. I understood and it did not offend me. Oh and though we do celebrate this day, I also have started to downplay my own excitement because sometimes there is still a bit of emotion to deal with the whole being adopted stuff.
And in her own way she was excited about her bracelets, putting them on immediately wearing them to sleep in and demanding that I do likewise. I declined to sleep in them but I am wearing them today. I told her I would wear them on days she wears hers. This morning she was eager to show them off to her BFF who is staying with her at my parents for this and next week during the day.
Let me copy/paste from the mudlove website who and what they are: "In an attempt to deny self, MudLOVE was build on the idea of giving back. Starting with nothing more than an old stamp set, a box of clay, and an unadvised business plan of giving 20% of all sales to clean drinking water projects in Africa, MudLOVE was born, and God-inspired creation emerged. The hope of MudLOVE is to be an inspiration to people, not just providing Africans with clean water, but also encouraging and loving broken people. What one may lack in clean water, another may lack in love."
G met some people through my aunt and uncle who gave her the first "Set Free" mudlove bracelet and a card that explains their mission. G never took it off until it broke in half when she flung her arms back on the concrete floor playing. So I got her another "Set Free" bracelet and us the "forever" "family" bracelets as well.
I had also previously purchased from Amazon (very inexpensively) a large portable chess set for her family day. That gift, I gave her this morning after singing a bad rendition of my made up "happy forever family day" song. She was excited about that in her own way as well.
There was just so much excitement in my car this morning because she was going to get to spend the day with her BFF and because, because, well, just because. Praying this excitement doesn't crash to terribly hard to very soon.
So Happy Forever Family Day, G! You are as your China name implies, a true and everlasting treasure!