When you adopt a child, you accept the fact that there is a part of his or her life that you will never know about. You will never see.
For me that part was thirteen months long. Three hundred ninety six days of Molly’s life that went on without me. I didn’t get to comfort her first cry. I didn’t get to feed her the first bottle. I didn’t get to watch her learn to roll over, sit up, crawl or pull her self up to a stand. I don’t know who got to do or see these firsts, or even when they happened.
I've accepted that. It’s part of adoption.
The thing that makes it difficult for me is that Molly will never know these things either. I can never tell her how old she was when she first smiled or who she smiled at. I can’t show her pictures of herself getting her first bath, playing with her favorite toy, or many other things from her first thirteen months.
That’s hard. Really, really hard. There are so many questions that I can’t answer for her and it breaks my heart (crying even as I write these words).
I think that is why I cling so tightly to the things from Molly’s past that I can share with her. And one of those things is not a thing at all. It is a person. A very special person. Luke.
Luke and Molly slept side-by-side in the orphanage. They were together the thirteen months for which I have no answers. They shared a time with each other that I wasn’t fortunate enough to see.
I can’t give Molly so much information. I can’t show her so many keepsakes form her past. I just don’t have them. But I can give her Luke.
Lucky for Molly (and for me!) I do know Luke’s family. They are amazing people whom I love dearly. I know where Luke lives. He and his family live many states away but amazingly, they only live blocks away from my sister. Blocks away. How miraculous is that? Every time we visit my sister, we visit Luke and his family.
When Luke and Molly are together, the time they’ve spent apart seems to disappear. They don’t need time to warm up or get to know each other all over again. They simply take one look at each other and run off to play together.
And I feel so happy that at least I can give her this part of her past.
Here are some (okay, a lot) of pictures of our last visit with Luke and his family.
“Hey, Molly! Look at this!”
“First you take a big mouthful of food. Chew it up really well….”
“…and then you open your mouth and show everyone. I get in big trouble for this!”
Friends swinging together.
Even better…spider swinging!
Nope…it doesn’t get any cuter than this!
Lounging with our moms...
And that’s a pretty good thing to give.