Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Gracie!!!

So my beautiful daughter turns 4 today. How in the hell did that happen??? We woke up early, we had pancakes and opened presents and are now trying to survive the ensuing sugar crash and over stimulation caused by the acquisition of NEW THINGS. This child is so amazing. She is so sure of who she is in a way I don't think I have ever been . As my mom's friend Pat says "Grace is a complete package. None of her spills over." By which she means that Grace is Grace no matter the situation. I am deeply affected by place, and time and other people's moods. Grace is not. She is who she is.

Sometimes that person is incredibly bossy, and sometimes heart achingly sweet. She can be a tyrant and an angel in the same breath.

For a little over 3 years I have had the privilege and challenge of being this girl's mother. Some days I feel so inadequate, as if there is no way I can be the mother she should have. Other days, I feel like, if I can just stay out of her way and not try to interfere, just love her, then it will be alright. More than alright. She will be spectacular.
I have a hard time not bending them to my sometimes forceful will. Parenting a stubborn little girl isn't easy and power struggles pop up before I even know it. There are a lot of days when I forget to say to myself "She is a baby. You do not need to fight about this. How important is it really?" Because usually, I am just trying to make a point. Or she wants to do something that's going to be messy, and honestly, why do I care? Messes can be cleaned up, and she can help. Points don't always need to be made. I can let her win a few from time to time.

I like to make a new parenting resolution on my kids' birthdays and for Grace, I am going to try to not stand in the way of her heart and soul and yes, even her will. Before I know it she will be gone, and I won't get a second chance at this. I am lucky to have any chance at all.

Today is, naturally, the day her birth mother is most on my mind. I wonder how she is doing. Is she sad? Is she thinking of Grace? Does she even know where she is? We are still trying to find her. We are on our third search and are hopeful this time will be our lucky shot. Mostly I want her birthmom to know that she is loved beyond measure, that she is healthy and happy and not stuck in an orphanage. Kai's birthmom didn't know what had happened to him until we found and contacted her. She was greatly relieved to hear he had a family. I want that for Grace's birthmom too.

But more than that, I want to find her for Grace. I want her to have a picture, an address, maybe even a place to visit. In my dream scenario, we would be able to go back and meet her and Grace could have all her questions answered. And I could say "thank you." Thank you for taking care of yourself while you were pregnant. Thank you for having her in a hospital. Thank you for having her. Thank you for loving her.

Kai often asks about his birthmom and I have pictures and a story to show him. And Grace spins these beautiful fairy tales about her birthmom and always talks about her in the most loving way, but I have no pictures, no letters, nothing but a name for her. I want more for my daughter. For this amazing child who asks for so little in her sweet life. For the little girl who crawled into bed with me this morning at 5am, snuggled in tight and whispered "Mama, can I have a butterfly cake that's covered in pink and then put sprinkles on it? 'Cause today I is four years old, ya know." If she wanted 18 carat gold flakes on her cake, I would find a way to make it happen.


Chapin said...

Beautiful post.

Jackie S said...

Oh, she is beautiful. Happy Birthday, Grace!!

Hilary Marquis said...

Happy Birthday Gracie! What a beautiful young lady :) They grow up too fast.

Jeanne said...

Happy Birthday to your amazing daughter!

Kjersten, Steve and Aitugan said...

Happy Birthday Grace!
We hope you had a wonderful day! : )

-KJ, Steve and Aitugan

Linda said...

Hello April -- I had to comment because I have a daughter we adopted from Kazakhstan when she was 8 -- she has the same spirit Grace does! You could have been describing Aina (Kazak for "from the moon") Claire with what you wrote about Grace. She is 13 now and it just gets better and better. We love this girl. I'd love to send a photo. How do I do that??

We would like to find Aina Claire's birthmother -- we have her name -- but not sure how to start. How did you search? Any suggestions? Thank you for your blog, your spirit and your ideas. Sincerely, Linda