|Makayla at 24 hours old|
We're lucky enough to see Makayla almost every weekend when we go to visit my parents and grandparents, so we've gotten to see how much bigger she's getting, how her chubby cheeks and thighs are filling out, how she is starting to look around, notice things, recognize people. She always seems to perk right up when she hears certain voices: her Mama, her Pop-pop, her Shae. She's a pretty quiet and unfussy baby, but she's starting to increase her noise levels to match her surroundings. She fits right into our big, noisy, crazy family.
|Makayla at 11 days old|
It's a wonderful thing, to see babies growing like this, but it's a little bittersweet for me, too. We didn't know Shae yet, when she was this age. The earliest pictures we have of her are from when she was about 4½ months old, on the first day that she was with the foster family who loved her before we were lucky enough to have her join our family. So sometimes when I look at all the pictures I already have of my niece, I feel a weird pain in my heart, because we missed those very early days with our daughter.
|Makayla at 4 weeks old|
Shae loves looking at her baby pictures in the photo album that the other family gave us as a memento on the day our placement became permanent. I do, too, but I feel sometimes like I am looking at pictures of a completely different person, someone so small and strange and unknown. And maybe I am -- we all change, all the time, right? Every milestone, every month, every week, every day, every hour, every minute, we are a little bit different than we were in the month, week, day, hour, minute before. It's how we change, for the better or the worse, that matters, right?
|Makayla at 2 months old|
Still: I would be lying if I didn't admit that I am more than a little bit jealous of my sister, that she has been there from the very, very beginning of her daughter's life. I wonder how much different Shae would be now if we had become her family right away, right after birth -- or what if I were her biological mother? How would things be different? I think we have a hell of a kid, more perfect than we could possibly have asked for, but what might have changed if we had known her sooner? For her, and for us?