The Child is asleep right now and I forgot to tell her today that yes, it was 5 years ago (2-17-07) today that a certain United flight from Frankfurt landed at Dulles airport with one tired mommy and a wiggly Veeka. The moment the wheels touched the ground some time after 3 pm, Veeka became a US citizen! UNFORTUNATELY I didn’t get at all the welcoming party at the airport. All my friends forgot or didn’t care or were too busy so the only person to meet me at the international arrivals gate was the loyal and faithful Susan Shaughnessy, my house sitter. (A year later, sadly, Susan died suddenly in her sleep at the age of 30).
Many months later, I read on one of my adoption blogs stories of other single moms who also had no happy faces waiting for them at the airport so I realized it wasn’t just me who lacked for a welcoming party but to anyone who reads this, please realize that when you’ve been the air nearly 24 hours and you’ve just adopted a child, it really matters when people care enough to show up at the airport. Not a day or several weeks later but at the airport with balloons and nice signs. Those of us who adopt never get the congratulations that pregnant women get so this is our big hurrah. Being that I never got a baby shower, either, I decided two months later to throw a birthday party for Veeka’s 2nd birthday, which did attract a nice crowd. I’ll also say that Veeka’s Aunt Susan provided enough gifts for Veeka the Christmas before to make up for two missed showers.
And so – five years later, it’s been a quiet winter here. Things will get a bit sparser next week when I embark on a new diet during Lent (not very spiritual, I know, but oh well) that believe me, is very much needed. We are now in late winter (as opposed to early winter or mid-winter) and I’ve been reading the Narnia books to my daughter at a very fast clip. We galloped through “Silver Chair,” “Prince Caspian” and “Horse and His Boy” and are nearly done with “Magician’s Nephew.” Then it’s on to “Last Battle” and we’re done. Veeka is slowly learning how to read and I make her sit down almost daily and go through one of her simple reading books with me. She loves anything that makes her a bit independent and she’s really good at getting up on a stool to sneak cookies out of the kitchen while I’m upstairs working. She’s never hungry during dinner but she’s always hungry at other times. Some things don’t change.