I loved you first

Hip, Hip, Hooray!  First Day is coming up on Sunday!
This is your friendly reminder to set out those cameras and get to clicking all day Sunday!
We added a First Day tab up top with all the details.  
See you Monday for all the stalking you can handle!

Josie has a ridiculously long bedtime routine.

She takes her time picking out her PJs and brushing her teeth.  She needs a story and a devotion, then it's time for Andrew to leave but not before they kiss and rub noses.  I've been assigned, against my will, as the parent that stays for the remainder of the night's festivities.

We move on to a slightly off pitch (me, not her) rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow while I rub her back hard, but not too hard.  I can't even think about leaving before our "Honk Shoos" and whispers.

Then there's prayers.

Josie used to be scared to pray out loud and now she seems to be practicing for the Olympics with the length of her prayers.  Nothing is immune from needing to have thanks given.  I'm probably breaking a Commandment by complaining about it, but around the time she starts thanking God for socks and the button she found on the sidewalk three days earlier I tell her it's time to wrap it up.

She adds to her routine every few months.  And although I'm afraid I'll never have time to oblige Gabriel's impending nighttime requests, I just can't tell the child no at bedtime.  I want her last thoughts to be of sweet Mother Daughter Moments so I sing and fake snore and fulfill every request to hear the story of the night she came home.  Seriously, how could I say no to that?

A few weeks ago, in the middle of a story, she looked at Andrew and said, "you loved me before you loved Mommy."  

"Well, not really.  I loved Mommy first.  You weren't born yet when I started loving Mommy."

This answer was not what she wanted to hear.  "Daddy, PLEASE say you loved me first."

I couldn't help but smile.  Her desire to want to be loved.  To be constantly on our minds, in our hearts.  To be chosen and wanted.

She is starting to piece together what being adopted means.

It's a touchy subject for me.  I want her to just let it be, for her to know that we are her parents and nothing else matters.  I'm learning what she needs and how she is going to process it all as we go.

For the most part, she seems to feel like she is a member of an elite club.  Her parents chose her.  She feels bad for people that aren't adopted and shares parts of her story with strangers.

But there's starting to be a glimpse into a different side of it.  Not that she's sad or worried, more that she wants confirmation that she belongs.  It has to be a strange thought to know there was another mother out there somewhere that, for whatever reason, didn't keep her.

"Tell me the story about the night I came home."

And so I do.

I retell it with big tears of thankfulness and wonder in my eyes.  It's my fairytale.  My happy ending.  My white horse was a little red sports car.  My knight in shining armor was a chubby cheeked baby in tiny Nikes.

I retell that night with just as much emotion as I felt that day.  I get nervous when I talk about waiting for her to get here.  I can feel the weight of her in my arms when I talk about the first moment I held her.  I see Andrew, red eyed and half way in shock, when I tell about him meeting her.

And somewhere between the part where Missy brought us a carseat and the part about the mass of friends and family that met us at Walmart at 9 PM to meet her, it hits me.

She's right.

I did love her first.

I loved her when I was five and I played house for the first time.  I loved her every time I pretended I was the Mom when I babysat.  Every negative pregnancy test and every unanswered prayer.  She was there, in my heart.  And I loved her.



Kameron said...

You just made me cry. That is so sweet. She is lucky to have you guys and you are lucky to have her!

Kym Thorpe said...

what a beautiful way to think about it. true for all mommies who have dreamed about the babies we would have from the time we were barely beyond babies ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Amy K.

Donovan Doins said...

Oh Nicole you made me cry...I love the perspective at the end!
yes we do love our babies even before God brings them home.
J asks about his birth mom and I gulp and answer gently but honestly...if I am tempted to be jealous I know God made me J 's mom.

Anonymous said...

Tearing up as well! What a beautiful post about your happy ending.

Ashley O'Brien said...

What a beautiful fairy tale

Traci said...

Perfect :)

Brianna Bell said...

wow I just love your blog so much and really appreciate your words. Thank you for writing them. Your story is precious and you are an incredible and inspiring woman.

anna said...

'Every negative pregnancy test and every unanswered prayer.'

Yes. This. So very grateful for our miracle babies, for being that answer to prayer. Thanks for this beautiful post!

Wendy said...

This was beautiful!

kimmer said...

Beautifully written and straight from your heart! I loved reading this and am forever grateful to be your mom and Josie's Maemae! Love!