I just woke up to Lydia quietly walking in our room and crawling in bed with us to snuggle. Dressed in her pink popsicle jammies and holding her baby doll like always. And we did snuggle for a bit. Then came requests for watching Clifford, and downstairs we went. As we walked through he kitchen she noticed all the decor I had put up the night before. We get to combine celebrations of Gotcha Day and Chinese New Year each year because the dates are always so close to one another. She peered up at the Chinese Lanterns and red and yellow streamers and dragons made of tissue and said a very slow, “Wow, we go China.” Yes we did.
I can’t believe another year has past since little Wu DanQing very literally walked into our arms. And I’m very aware that Lydia is beginning to learn her own story. In the past year, we have had to answer questions like, “I in your belly in China?” That was a tough one and I had to seek assistance from other adoptive mothers in how to appropriately answer. We decided to explain in simple terms that she was in another womans tummy in China. We have not yet introduced words like, “China mommy” or “birth-mother” or “tummy mommy”. And we will let her questions dictate when we introduce those kinds of terms as she grows. In the last year, Lydia has learned that she lived in China in a big house with other babies and the nannies took good care of her. She likes this idea and fairly often wants to talk about when she was a “tiny baby in China and nannies change her diaper and give her bottle.” To us the important part is that she always know her story. So as she asks we will share more details.
A couple of days ago I let her watch the video of ‘Gotcha Day’ in China. She loved it! She must have watched it 10 times savoring us holding her. She noted her short hair, “because she was a tiny baby” and how Daddy smiled, and the other people in the room. She noticed how the nanny had said, mama and how she came to me and how I was crying. We talked about happy tears and I told her it was one of the best days of my life. She hugged and kissed me, snuggling into my arms as we watched. It was precious.
Each year that passes will likely carry more emotion for her as she learns more of her story and begins to understand all of what that day meant. For now, I will enjoy the simplicity of her excitement over watching the video of mommy’s happy tears and daddy’s smile and how she was so clearly and immediately loved. She does understand that much. She knows she is deeply loved, deeply cherished and right now, at three years old, that’s all that matters.
Tonight we will eat Chinese food, watch videos and look at pictures of our trip. We will let her open a gift we bought her in China and we will celebrate the wonderful joy of that day in China two years ago. All is gift. God is so good.
Watch our Gotcha Day video here.