Gotcha day

The 5th March is our official gotcha day as a family. I used to celebrate a date in July when I first met my first daughter, A, but this time last year my older daughter S officially moved in with us and our little family of three was complete.

It feels like it’s been a lot longer than a year in many ways – I can’t quite believe it has ONLY been a year since she moved in!

A LOT has happened since then, and it certainly hasn’t been an easy ride by any stretch, but my god am I glad she’s my kid.

She is such an incredibly bright, funny, cheerful, TALL 11 year-old, and she has enriched our lives in ways it is hard to describe. I am so proud to call her my daughter.

Suddenly becoming the parent to a pre-teen was a massive culture shock for me as a parent and required a lot of flexibility from me and my youngest (and from S too) to adjust to each other as a new family. And we certainly haven’t always gotten it right – there have been MANY occasions when we have each lost our shit and had a tantrum, myself included! But we have gained so much from it too. A absolutely ADORES her big sister, and while they certainly can bicker and fight like any siblings they are also unbelievably lovely to each other most of the time. S is so loving and sweet and incredibly self-aware, as we slowly start to unpick some of her trauma together and figure it all out. She has some remarkably mature insights and thoughts about it all and I am constantly amazed at her resilience through all that change and uncertainty.

In honour of our 1-year anniversary, I suggested we update her life story book and add in her happy ending, and I was so proud of the way that she engaged with her life story work, as it can be really unsettling for some kids to engage with, and look back on all that has happened to get her to here. She commented that most kids don’t really need a happy ending as their lives are already basically happy, which was such an interesting and insightful way to look at things. She wrote this at the end of her book – her opinion on being adopted and getting to be one of us forever:

“I thought that being in this family forever would be a great thing and I’m happy that I am because it feels so good to be somewhere that I can live forever and she (mama) will never let me go even when I am 32”

We are a very lucky and happy little family of three, in spite of all the usual ups and downs, and I am so proud of both my gorgeous girls. They truly are the most wonderful kids in the world and anyone out there considering adoption should DO IT! It’s bloody brilliant!

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