We're five months into this Great Parenting Experiment of ours, and while I have already accepted that my life has become an endless parade of diaper changes and sippy cups and tantrums and missing shoes and furtive hours of World of Warcraft snuck in between meals and baths and "Daddy Time," and while we are slowly but surely adjusting our schedules to constantly be on toddler tape-delay, and while I am gradually learning to unclench and relax and go with the flow ...
... while all of this is happening, the thing I think I'll never be able to get over, never be able to fully comprehend, never be able to wrap my primitive little unevolved reptilian brain around, is how someone who is totally biologically unrelated to me can still be so completely my child.
This is what we were hoping for, of course, back when we decided to give adoption a shot. We were given information on and links to various websites where we could look at available children, see if we were interested in any of them, and to us it was always: "Eww, no thanks." Like, we're not buying a car, we're building a family here, and when the right kid becomes available, we'll know it -- all of us, everyone, the Universe at large, will know it -- and we will swoop in like Mario and Luigi to rescue Princess Peach, and we'd all live happily ever after.
But, since this is me we are talking about, of course there were doubts. Riddles, enigmas, questions that cannot possibly have an answer. What if Peach is a good-for-nothing rotten brat? Or has adjustment problems? Or learning disabilities? What if there is something going on there that we are just ill-equipped to handle? What then? Even worse, what if our child just doesn't like us? Not in the angst-ridden angry adolescent sense, but in the "I know that you are not my real mother and I hate you for breaking up my family and I'm never going to love you" kind of way? You hear horror stories. They can't all be urban legends.
Alas ... no such problem so far. I'm sure that someday, maybe sooner than later, but not tomorrow, or the day after, but one of these days, when Cupcake actually understands what is going on, we'll have questions. None of those questions will have easy answers except for one: "Do you love me?" And the answer will be: "Oh my God, yes! We loved you before we even knew you." I will show her the blog posts, and the journals, and the notes and the cards and the letters, and the secret messages to ourselves that we have tattooed on our hearts, tucked away for no one to see, afraid that if we admitted to our feelings, they would stop, they would fade away, they would cease to be, and so would we.
She will look at me then with her hazel eyes, trying to figure out whether I am angry or sad or scared or tired, just as she always does, chewing on her lip the way I do, squinching her nose up at me, trying to figure out the right thing to say, and then she'll touch my face, and ask me to kiss her zombie, and all will be perfect.