She was so brave. Just a little crying as we left the civil affairs office that day. I didn't really get it at the time. Just how brave she was. To go with funny looking strangers who didn't even speak her language. To trust the director who asked us, "What is her new name?" and then turned to Hannah and said, "You're 'Hannah' now. When your mama says, 'Hannah,' or your baba says, 'Hannah,' you say, 'Yes mama! Yes baba!' "
Our first night together. No crying.
Throughout our amazing trip in China, we gradually saw her personality peek out.
She ate well, slept well, smiled and laughed.
We had no idea how lucky we were.
In the last 3 years, Hannah has changed so much, and yet, she's still the same brave, spunky little girl we met in Nanjing.
She's learned new things.
Gone on field trips.
Put up with mama giving her goofy hairstyles.
Learned to love and be loved.
And gone off to school.
Sometimes all the change is exhausting!
I am always so impressed with I step back from the everyday and think about how far she's come.
She's so much a part of our family that I forget.
I forget that she wasn't always here, excited to be part of what's going on.
As we celebrate milestones like the first day of school, I sometimes remember.
And I think of all that her birth family is missing out on.
But most of the time, she's just my daughter.
The single most resilient person I know. Who handled amputation surgery like a champ, and never complains or uses her handicap as an excuse.
And so it is that our Hannah Day totally escaped my notice.
I actually forgot. Bad mom.
It wasn't until I saw a family that we traveled with mention it on facebook that I realized...
She's only been with us 3 of her 6 years.
This girl that I love to pieces
Who makes me laugh
And readily forgives me when I'm a rotten mom
Came to us differently than the older kids.
3 years in
I can say with certainty,
it doesn't matter a bit.
She's mine now.
And yeah, I get that she is not "all" mine, and I will support her in any way I can as she gets older and starts to explore that part of her. But I know my unstoppable girl. And I know that she will continue to bounce back from whatever life throws at her. From even before we met her, that's who she is.
I get to be her Mommy. I'm the lucky one.
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