There is a point in every single one of our adoptions that our children begin to emerge as people. It’s an odd feeling during these few months at home, almost like a fog. We operate in a constant state of haziness. We’re strangers when our children arrive. They don’t know us, we don’t know them, and lots of times, they don’t know themselves.
Gigi didn’t know herself. I know she didn’t. I often try to put myself in her place during those years she spent in an institution. Locked inside herself, no way to communicate. I think in English. I have a constant internal monologue going. Don’t we all? “Oh, man, the laundry. I forgot to change it over to the dryer. The kids school supplies, I need to find time to buy them. Tuesday? Yeah, I think that’s free. Put it in the Google Calendar before you forget and they go to school with empty backpacks. Everyone will assume their backpacks are empty because you’re too poor to buy the supplies. How are you going to pay for those? You owe Bowen tooth fairy money too. Damn.” Yes, my inner monologue comes with negativity and curse words.
Joe (aka FullPlateDad) once told me that he felt truly bilingual (he is an interpreter) when he began to think in the language he was attempting to master. Joe’s inner monologue occurs in Spanish. That made me wonder, in what language did Gigi think? She had no language. So, what did her inner monologue sound like? What does it sound like now?
I can almost see the wheels turning in her head. We were riding the train at the zoo in this picture. A few seconds later the train began to move and she looked up at me. Her face registered pure excitement. Then her hands began to fly. “Train! It’s going!”
She was thrilled.
And she was able to tell me all about it.
The fog is lifting. I am beginning to see her emerge.
And, she is beautiful.
Someday, a very long time from now, when all this is done and I’m old and gray, I know I’m going to look back at these moments, the moments when the fog lifted, as some of the most amazing moments of my life.
I am so profoundly lucky to get to witness this.
–FullPlateMom, who can’t wait to see who she becomes when she’s finally truly done becoming exactly who she is.