On October 3rd, 2014, my life changed forever when my wife and I brought a 6 year old stranger into our home and decided that she was going to be our daughter. The three of us spent a year of many tears, many laughs, tons of hours with therapists and social workers, and a whole bunch of "What have we gotten ourselves into?!?" until, a year ago today, when we walked into the Alameda County Courthouse and made our family official.
Today, we celebrated our Adoption Anniversary by returning to the same restaurant we went to last year, giving our daughter a brand new pair of rainbow earrings (she got her ears pierced for Adoption Day last year), and then coming in from out of the rain to watch an episode of Blackish together.
It's been a beautiful day.
What strikes me most today is the amount of times that my daughter, now 8, has said YES! to life in the past two years. Suddenly, I am realizing that she is a Say Yes! superstar from whom we all have a lot to learn. As just a teeny girl, she had to be willing to accept:
- Leaving behind everyone she had previously called family
- Moving 100 miles away to a place she had never heard of
- Calling 2 small, yappy dogs (whom she was afraid of) her pets
- Sleeping in a brand new room and brand new bed
- Eating new foods
- Learning a new family culture
- Making new friends
- Going to 2 new schools
- Calling two women she knew nothing about "Mommy"
...and so much more.
Think about all of the times in the last two years that you have faced a new challenge or a new experience. Has anything tested you to this extent? Has anything forced you to embrace a completely new life? If so, how did you handle it? Were you able to accept it with grace and giggles like my daughter has? If so, how did you do it? If not, what was holding you back?
My daughter also definitely struggles with "NO!", certainly. I could tell you stories of fits that would make your eyes roll back into your head. These fits are so dramatic that it is easy to use them as ways to define her. But today, I choose to focus on her YES! power - her ability to take all the crap that life has dished out to her, compost it, and create the incredibly fertile soil that she continues to grow from.
She is the queen of YES!. She is setting an example for all of us girls, everywhere.