We looked different, we smelled different, we sounded different, we even treated her differently than she was used to at the orphanage. Because of all these differences, the Butterfly cried and cried and cried. She was terrified. She didn't know what was happening. She was being taken from everything that she knew. As I think about this, I try to put myself in her shoes. How would I react if I was taken from everything that I knew in my life? Honestly, I would probably revert back to my "terrible-two year-old" stage and throw a tantrum, screaming and kicking. And, after the initial tantrum, I would curl up into myself and cry.
It is when I put myself in the Butterfly's shoes during those first few days that I understand why she cried so much. She did not know what we knew. She did not know that she now had a family, her very own mommy, daddy, and sister. She did not know that she was going to receive love and support for the rest of her life. She did not know that she would eventually go to school and have the opportunity at a great education and future. She did not know that she would have her own special room and her own special bed in a comfortable, loving home. She did not know... she just did not know.
But, in the days and months that followed, the Butterfly slowly opened up. She learned to trust. She learned to love and receive love from us. She learned to laugh and play, and how to make us laugh with her. She learned who a mommy and daddy are. She learned how much fun a big sister can be (and sometimes how frustrating a big sis can be as well!). She learned what a family is, and that we are her family.
I look back on photos of those first days and I get teary-eyed. She was so scared.
And now look at her. She has grown up so much in just one year's time. She is an independent, happy, silly, joyous, loving little girl with a bit of an obstinate streak in her. She keeps us on our toes most definitely, but brings so much joy to our lives each and every day.
(Sporting her new bike helmet and some adorable ladybug boots... on the wrong feet! Yup, she accessorized herself this morning!)
So now, one year later, we are celebrating this special day. The Butterfly's Forever Family Day! Congratulations little girl. We are so happy to call you our daughter, so happy that you are part of our family. You have brought so much love and joy into our lives. We loved you before we met you, we loved you the day we first were able to give you hugs. We love you so much more today than we ever could imagine, and we will love you for the rest of our lives. Thank you beautiful Butterfly for coming into our lives. Thank you for being my daughter. I love you!