Monday, June 20, 2011

Adoption anniversary and Father's Day

Anya Rashi wore one of her Indian outfits to a wedding last weekend -- when we got it for her in Kolkata, it seemed so huge I couldn't picture her fitting into it!

Yesterday we celebrated two important days: June 19 is the anniversary of our court date to finalize Anya Rashi's adoption, and for the rest of the US, it was also Father's Day. It was definitely a day of gratitude for us -- Peter and I have the huge blessing of still having our own fathers close by, and I have the joy of watching Peter parent our kids.

A long time ago, before we even dated, Peter and I saw the movie Parenthood together. (That tells you how long we've known each other!). We were both back on campus a little early because we were on the residence life staff at our university, and decided on a whim to watch the movie together on a free afternoon. During the movie, I remember thinking, "Whoever marries Peter will be such a lucky woman -- he's going to be a great father!" I was dating someone else at the time, and had no idea that I would get to be that woman!

I also had no idea at that time that adoption would be part of my future. We don't do anything too elaborate to celebrate the court date that officially made Anya Rashi part of our family. Usually, we look at photos from that day, and talk about what the kids got to do in the courtroom. I think the day itself doesn't hold as much of an emotional resonance for us because we already felt like she was completely ours, forever . . . and we'd felt that way from the day we first saw her picture.

I am stunned that it's been three years already! Our sons look so little in those photos, and there's barely a trace of baby Rashi left when I look at our long-legged, articulate little girl. Time goes by surprisingly, achingly quickly.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

First days of summer

Before and after hair shots!

Our summer is off to a flying start, with a trip to Indianapolis for a graduation and mini-reunion with one of Anya Rashi's cribmates. The graduate was my "practice baby" -- my dear friend Trina's son Tyler. Trina was one of those instant friends -- we worked together at the museum that hired me after I graduated from college, and hit it off right away. Trina, Ty and I lived together from the time Tyler was 8 months old until he was 4 1/2, when Peter and I got married. Tyler is now taller than me, and headed off to college in the fall . . . which means I am officially old. :o)

Trina's family is also one of my adoption inspirations. She is one of four siblings, two of whom are biological children, and two of whom are adopted. When she first told me that, I remember thinking how wonderful that sounded, and a seed of an idea for my future was planted. Then, with Tyler, I realized that I could indeed love someone else's child as though he belonged to me. They are one of the reasons Anya Rashi is here today, and her sister is on the way.

We had a great time together celebrating Tyler. I just reveled in visiting with Trina's parents, and friends who feel like family, though we rarely get to be together in person.

Another terrific part of our weekend was visiting David and his family! David and Anya Rashi were cribmates in India during their first year of life. His mom Christin and I stay in touch through a chat room, and agreed to meet while we were in their city. The kids all enjoyed ice cream, and played together while the grownups talked. It was fun to see David and Anya Rashi picking wild strawberries together, with their two little raven heads bent over the green grass.

Summer would not be complete without the start of baseball season -- because they are only 19 months apart in age, Aaron and Nathan get to be on the same team every other year. I love having them play together! And we can't forget Nathan's annual "shearing." :o) He planned it carefully -- we gave him a buzz the night before the last day of school to surprise his friends.

It's strange to have been a parent long enough to have things that truly feel like traditions. I often wonder what our kids will remember about these days . . . I hope they will think of them with fondness.