A couple weeks ago, we celebrated the two year anniversary of the day our daughter joined our family.
As is my tradition, I shared a picture from that day on social media and my baby girl saw it. She was four years old when she was adopted and… thankfully… has some poignant memories of her life in China.
When she saw the picture of our meeting, she began telling me the story of that day from her perspective. Leaving her foster family’s house, making the trip to the Civil Affairs building. And then she shared something she had not ever shared before. “I was so scared, Mama. I didn’t want you to adopt me.”
But she didn’t end her story there. Instead, she wrapped her arms around my neck in the tightest hug and almost shouted “But I want you now!!!”
There was no doubt in my mind that the day Cora became mine she was scared and wanted nothing to do with me. We had one of those nightmare “gotcha days” where the child had to be literally picked up, screaming and kicking, off the floor of Civil Affairs and forcibly removed from the building. The incident was repeated at the hotel later that day, and she even attempted to escape from the hotel room that evening. Gradually she resigned to the fact that she was stuck with me, though she still didn’t like me for quite a while.
Winning her heart was a gradual process… but I have no doubt that over the past two years I have indeed won it. It was still precious, though, to hear the words come out of her mouth.
I want you now.