Here's one of the 'official' adoption photos that Aunt Renee took on Friday. We're all gathered around the judge. Unfortunately, you can't see how hugely cute Hallie's outfit is; I promise to post more pics showing off our little fashion plate's sense of haute couture as soon as possible:
Anyway, yesterday was Hallie's corrected half-birthday. I was showing a colleague's wife her early pictures today and found it hard to believe that our chubby little girl was once so very small. I'm not even thinking here about her birth pictures but her homecoming shots. She seemed HUGE to us back in October when we finally got to spring her from the ICN. Now, when I look at those pictures, she seems diminutive. It's also fascinating for us to watch how much she changes from week to week. I'm not sure when that slacks off (I imagine that it does at some point in life; for example, I am pretty much the same as I was last week, or at least I like to think that I am not aging as quickly as that!).
Speaking of weeks-gone-past, I've been thinking a lot about half-full glasses this past week. One thing that the last year (can it really be going on a year already?) has taught me is that it's important to celebrate all of the good stuff, even as we always remain ever vigilant, guarded etc. Every day that Sharon stayed pregnant in Labor and Delivery, every hour that the girls remained inside, every twenty-four hours older they became once they were born turned into causes to celebrate. We sang happy birthday to them every night at the appointed hour for the first week after they were born and were thrilled when they reached a week old, then two. Even after we lost Olivia, we tried to celebrate every milestone that Hallie reached. Indeed, these milestones became even more important for us then, at least on some level. And with the creative help of Aunt Laura, who was always ready with gift bags, sparkling cider, and festive decorations, we celebrated and celebrated and celebrated. We still do. I think that, if anything, we've learned how important it is not to take anything for granted, to try to live in the moment (this is a big one for me because I am the quintessential plan-aheader who still catches myself forgetting about what's happening now whilst trying to make sure that I take care of all possible future contingencies), and to remember to stop, take a deep breath (having babies on ventilators really does have a way of reminding one how important it is just to breathe), and enjoy what we have. And what we have is a lovely little girl (even teething doesn't make her less lovely!), a wonderful nuclear family, a fabulous extended family, and a great circle of real and virtual friends who envelope the three of us with their love and support and try to remind us about all of the half-full glasses in our lives even when we forget about them. That's a lot to celebrate.
Happy Spring (what spring? OK--I'll celebrate our lack of an ice storm even if I cannot fully embrace the fact that it went from mid 70s on Monday to 40s now), and may your springtime holidays--religious, secular, and all mixes thereof--be times for celebrating renewal, rebirth, and all of the half-full things in your life.