My mom and dad came to visit and meet the girls for the first time this past week, and introducing them to my parents somehow made them even more mine. Something I am finding about this adoption journey is there are definite bonding turning points. There are days that cement them as my daughters in a deeper way than they've been and it happens incrementally as we do life as a family of four. Bonding in adoption is obviously very different than giving birth. There are no hormones involved to help this process along. It happens inorganically through intention and experiences where all of a sudden it hits you in a new way and with a burst of pride that these are your girls.
I felt that switch - that turn around a bonding corner when we road-tripped with them to El Paso for a family wedding, when I took them to swimming lessons and beamed with pride, and every time I introduce them to people who are important to us.
Nana and Opa watched them Saturday morning for us so we could attend a preschool orientation for V. I felt it again as I cried on and off the whole way through it, for all kinds of layered reasons. First, as a former teacher, it was bizarre to be on the other side of the parent/teacher dynamic for the first time. I remembered those back-to school jitters and special moments with my students and missed it. It's also surreal to already be enrolling a child in preschool after only parenting them for five months. That's not the usual way of things. But, love just oozes out of this school, and I am so grateful for such a nurturing first school experience for my smart cookie. She is beyond ready and I think will absolutely flourish. One of the teachers read a little poem about Jack's mother at the bottom of the beanstalk, saying goodbye and knowing this was just the first beanstalk for him, and that there would be other larger ones to climb in his future. I sat there humbled at the opportunity to be the one at the bottom of the beanstalk for my girls.