After carrying a tiny, blurry, picture of a sleeping newborn with us everywhere we went for a couple of months we finally met our daughter on November 24th, 2009. Every moment of that day is still so vivid in my mind - right from when my eyes first opened in the hotel room in Hanoi, to the van ride out of the city and through the rice fields to where my girl was waiting, to holding that amazingly warm and wonderful little bundle for the first time and looking into her beautiful, worried face, to exactly what I had for lunch afterwards (bun cha) and how I spent the rest of my day (visiting a temple and saying "thank you thank you thank you" in my head over and over and over again). I will never forget that life-changing and glorious moment when I truly became a mother.
And now? Now I get to hear Adeline's sweet voice many times a day saying "I love you, Mama". I get to hold her little mittened hand in mine as we walk to school and she tells me that she will NEVER be too big to hold my hand. I receive many handmade trophies declaring me "Best Mama in the World". I get to stop many times a day just to give and be given a hug. I get to brush and braid my girls hair, just like I always dreamed of. I get to hear Adeline singing "Run Run Rudolph" to herself as she wakes up with a smile on her face, as she does nearly every day. I get to have afternoon dance parties and go to imaginary fairy picnics. I get to hear "Thank you for supper. You make the BEST suppers" almost every night. I get to hear "Look at what I can do!" and be amazed again and again by all the things that Adeline is learning. I get to laugh EVERY SINGLE DAY and feel proud and happy and so, so lucky.
To love and be loved...there's nothing better than that.