This family has sure been Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree this holiday season, and it has been amazing. We've looked at lights, sung carols, watched all of the requisite TV specials, trimmed the tree, gone shopping together, named our very own Elf, and read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" countless times. We even saw a real reindeer right near our neighborhood! Yesterday, E and I baked cookies and made my Nana's recipe for fudge. Andy Williams and Dean Martin were playing holiday classics in the background, my daughter had a mouthful of chocolate chips and was covered in sticky Fluff and my kitchen was covered in powdered sugar. I stopped, looked, and listened and thought to myself, "Yes, this is what it's all about."
At E's 3rd birthday party, one of my favorite relatives who we hadn't seen in awhile asked P how he was doing. His response: "I'm living the dream." And if that sounds as candy-coated as my kitchen right now, it's not. That doesn't mean that it's perfect or easy, but we never expected it to be perfect or easy. But it's truly wonderful.
So, then, what are we complaining about?
It's Rosie. She's in China, we are here, and it's Christmas. I know, I know...those of you who know us or have followed our adoption journeys are saying, "But what's the big deal? E was in China last Christmas...you should be old pros at this! You already sang 'Blue Christmas' last year!"
Well, this year it's worse. Does that sound like a slight against E? I suppose it does. But, in fact, it's actually the exact opposite. It is because of E that we are missing our second daughter so much this Christmas. Before E, we weren't parents. So, the whole idea of having a child was just that--an idea. We said, "I bet it will be so amazing to have a little daughter to celebrate the holidays with!" Now, we know how wonderful it is to celebrate every holiday, every birthday, and every Tuesday with your child. It's not just the idea of little feet running around...it's actually hearing those little feet, feeling those tight hugs, smelling her soft hair, and seeing her bright smile. Like P said, "Now I know what all of the fuss was about."
So, this year, we will celebrate this Christmas like no other before it. It will be bigger, happier, warmer, and more full of love than ever. But, it will also be harder because while we look and see the joy in E's eyes, we'll know what we are missing.