Saturday, April 27, 2013

Birthday Girl

We don't really know what day you were born, and neither do you. Your mother left you outside a little rural filling station near the town of Dongguan some time in the spring of 2005 and the Chinese adoption official responsible for you probably assigned the "auspicious" day closest to what he assumed was your birth day as your "birthday". He didn't know you, and probably didn't much care; he was just doing his job.

And we didn't know you, either. We traveled across the Pacific in pursuit of another little girl, a girl who turned out to be damaged, too damaged to adopt. By the time we met you we were reeling from the heat and the distance and the emotional trainwreck of the preceding week. We barely had time to pick you up, bundle you and your little "Funky Dog" bottle and your tiny yellow plastic sandals onto an airplane, and ride the long way back home. We had no idea who you were, or who you'd be.

We had no idea whether you'd be serious or silly, giddy or glum, outgoing or introverted. Whether you'd like to run and play or sit and read. Whether you'd be gentle or rough-and-tumble. Whether you'd be an "easy" child to raise, or a struggle. Whether, like some people, you'd come with your own happiness inside, or whether you'd have a lifetime of struggling against woe.

So far I'd say we've been pretty damn lucky. The girl we got was the girl who loves Ponies and sewing and cartoons and loves to laugh and make silly jokes, who loves to cuddle and play and shines from the love and joy within like a warm window on a cold, dark night.

So even though this may not be exactly seven years from the day you took your first breath, it's close enough for us; we're lucky to have you, small one, lucky that we've had this time together, these five years and change, years of watching you grow in size and in knowledge and in heart. Answering every one of the hundreds of questions you ask every moment, hoping to help you to the young woman you're going to be.

Happy Birthday, then, sweetheart. No matter the how or when, this is your day, and ours to celebrate you.


basilbeast said...

She's a QT awright!

Tell her Happy Birthday from Kansas for me.



Big Daddy said...

生日快乐 to you and it appears I have been a metro Portlander for so long that I know the picture was taken at a McMenamin's from the decoration in the background.

Lisa said...

I am so happy that Missy possesses and radiates joy and is her own person. That is a blessing, and she is blessed to have such patient and loving parents.

Barry said...

Happy Birthday!

Talyssa said...

This was SUCH a beautiful post!! I'm so teary after reading it!!! So wonderful!

Happy Belated Birthday to your little girl!!