The strange thing about celebrating Lisa's birthday is .. we're not really sure that March 13 IS her birthday! When we first started looking at her picture on the adoption agency's website, it said March 22. Then in some other documents, it said February 22. When we went to get her, her birth certificate said March 13. So we went with the official version. I guess when you adopt a baby from China, birthdays are a best guess estimate, so this is not all that different. Perhaps it was just a typo when her picture was put on the WPA website? At any rate ... March 13 it is, and my big girl is now 8 years old. No more booster seat (which I think we could have chucked a long time ago. She outweighs Christian by about 10 pounds or so, and he's been out of it since HE turned 8 over a year ago. But we have to do what the policeman says, don't we?)
I remember the quiet little girl who we met 4-1/2 years ago in a faraway land called Kazakhstan. She was dressed in a green, red and white striped sweater dress, with tights and furry suede slippers. She had just had a bath ... her hair was still damp. She looked quite shell-shocked. We gave her an apple, and she grabbed it and started munching away. She would have eaten the entire thing, core and all, if I hadn't stopped her. We gave her a juice box and she figured that out real quick. We had a ball which we rolled back and forth to her, and she nudged it with her hand, while she looked down, occasionally glancing up at us through her eyelashes. She was trying not to smile, and her little chin would wrinkle up.
Yesterday I took cookies to her school to celebrate her day, and her teacher had her sit on a stool in front of the whole class. One by one, they would say a word or phrase that described Lisa. Agreeable. Cool. Smart. Good friend. Loves Jesus. She sat in front of that class and called on them one by one. She oozed self-confidence and assuredness. It is beyond my little brain to imagine how far she has come, and why on earth we were put together. The awesome responsibility that is ours sometimes takes my breath away. I picture her in the future as a teacher herself. Or a doctor. The possibilities are limitless. She has the world on a silver platter.
She had a very girly-girl birthday party Saturday the 11th at Snip-Its, a hair salon for children. It was so girly that even her dad didn't come ... he stayed home with Melanie. I threatened the older two boys with having to come to the party, so they were on their best behavior and earned the right to take a pass. The girls got to pick a costume from the closet, choose one of 6 hairdos, put on makeup and nail polish, draw pictures and make sand art. Then, the piece de la resistance, they rolled out the red carpet (literally) and the girls did a runway fashion show for all the folks in the waiting area who were waiting for their kids to get their hair cut. Complete with karaoke machine, and the party hostess introduced each girl with her name, age, hobbies, favorite food, etc. It was quite a show.
The next morning, Lisa woke up with the flu. We were at Urgent Care at 8:30 and still had to wait an hour. I felt terrible .. I was so afraid that all the little girls at the party were now doomed to get the flu. I haven't heard that anyone succumbed, so <phew!> I had to go to a baby shower that day, and then pack and drive to Chapel Hill with Melanie that night. I was one exhausted puppy that night. I left poor Lisa in the very capable hands of her father ...
Last weekend, we swapped Melanie's bedroom and Christian's. Christian has been scared to sleep in his room (which is in the basement) for the last month or two. He is very much a people person, always wants people around or near to him (even though his big bro Quentin was right next door. I think the air conditioner, right outside his window, scared him). Melanie's room (now Christian's room) is right next to Lisa's. Lisa has long complained about Melanie waking her up in the night, and getting into her "stuff". I figured Melanie didn't care where her room was, so we humped beds and desks and dressers up and down two flights of stairs (still have the bruises and scrapes). I hung pictures on his new walls, and felt very good about finding a solution that would make everyone happy. That night, Lisa collapsed in tears. Sobbing, gut wrenching tears. Very upset that we had moved Melanie's room. Hating that now her "mean and crazy" brother was next door to her. I was completely bumfoozled. It never even occurred to me that this would upset her. I guess change of ANY kind is traumatic for her, and in the future I need to be more considerate of her delicate balance. Thatnight I went to bed with the weightof the world on my shoulders. Of course, the next night, they were chatting back and forth through their open doors. I heard her say, cheerfully, "Don't worry Christian! If you get scared, I'm right here!" Hah? Here I am worried about paying for her therapy to deal with changing her sister's room, and 24 hours later, all is well with the world. Insert head spin here. These kids ... if only they came with a dang owners' manual.
I think there is a limit on these journal entries, so I will save the story of our appointment with the craniofacial team for another post. In the meantime, hold your breath while I try to load pictures of the birthday party (ies).