This week we celebrate a special day. This week is Amy's first adoption anniversary.
We are very excited. We have plans, gifts and surprises.
This year her special day will mean more to her. Last year it was exciting, but she didn't really understand. She wanted a forever family, but I don't think she grasped what it all really meant.
Last year at this time, six months into our journey, there was very little attachment. It takes time to grow into a family. It takes time to claim the people who live in your house as part of you.
It took time for me, too.
But this year is different. This year we are closer, stronger and more comfortable. Awkward has been replaced with adequate and will one day reach awesome. It will. I just know it.
One day she won't be able to imagine being anywhere else. One day.
That day is closer this year than it was last year.
We are making progress. One day at a time we are maneuvering through the trials, celebrating the triumphs and appreciating the everyday.
I wasn't good at it the first time around. I didn't quite get it the second time But, like they say, the third time is the charm.
Was she easier than the other two? No, same behaviors. The difference was me. I was able to see the good in the midst of the hard. I was able to handle the beginning because I knew the end would be so much better. I had already read the last chapter twice.
Eighteen months ago Amy moved into our lives. The first six months were characterized by survival. Months seven through twelve were all about getting some intense behaviors under control. The first half of year two was when she began to realize that there was no way out.
And then comes the second half of the second year.
This is where we find ourselves this week.
This is when it starts getting good.
This is when we move from being coach (where we are now) to first class (where we'll be then).
How can I be so sure? Because this isn't my first rodeo.
Does that mean it's guaranteed? No. Things could happen in these next six months that I've never experienced. Every kid is different. Amy's journey may take a different route.
It could take longer.
But it also could be shorter.
As it stands right now, she seems to be following the same path the other two took. Maybe that says something about the kids that come out of the foster care system. Maybe that says something about me. Maybe it's a little bit of both.
All I know is this week we celebrate Amy. Who she is, how far she has come and how much she means to us.
Somebody needs to bake a cake...