There are so many things that I haven't talked about in regards to our trip. So, so many. I think it takes time to process everything and I have to admit that I don't know if you ever fully do (for me anyway). We've been home for almost eight weeks and there are so many thoughts and feelings and memories that I want to share. I want to share them mostly because I have this dreadful feeling everyday that a tiny bit of our trip is escaping from me. I'll notice that I haven't thought about our trip all day sometimes and that scares me! I want it to be raw and fresh on some weird level... I don't want to lose it.
Of course I love sharing pictures of us home etc. but I have to do these posts every once in a while for my own sake more than anything.
This house, yes, this house is where my daughter spent the first three years of her life...
The birth family visit is something I can't get my head around. It was all a fog, and so surreal. I don't know what I'd do without the precious video of it to remind me of every little detail and the way they looked at me so curiously, trying to get in every detail of us. There were many people (about twelve) all inside their modest but fastidious hut with a dirt floor and fire pit in the center for cooking. The walls were mostly lined with school papers and newspapers all pinned up as if they were wall paper, edge to edge, seam to seam. The beds (one of which we sat on during our visit) were made of branches and covered with blankets. It was just one room, just one.
We had a tough time meeting Tarikua... really tough. And I'll admit, love doesn't always come, even with a child who isn't trying to tear your neck to shreds! What I'm trying to say is while we had a tremendous turn around with Tarikua at the airport coming home and ever since, we settled in here at home and things were great but not like now. It has been awesome to watch our lives intertwine with hers to become a family. The first week home it kinda felt like babysitting, everything was new and a surprise to learn her. That's basically what you do, you learn one another. While I loved her, I wasn't in love with her.... that's hard to say and I hope you don't take it the wrong way.
About two weeks ago something shifted in me... it was huge and I remember thinking several things as it was happening. It was slow but within a few days... I just felt this incredible tug every time I looked at her. Like I do with Nicholas, like I feel that "I can't live without her" feeling... I crave her hugs and her body is no longer new to me and has become so completely and utterly average! I don't need to stare at her beautiful fingers as much or look at her hair or any of that, she's just my average kid! Beautiful and mine! I know every detail and I KNOW HER! To know her there's only one thing that can happen, to love her, every single bit!
I had this feeling and heard the words but it was actually true now, "she is my daughter." And it feels like that, it feels that way so strongly I have no words.
Towards the end of our birth family visit with Tarikua's mother one of the questions we had for her was; "how do you want us to raise your daughter?" Her reply, "she's your daughter now, raise her as your own".
It broke my heart to hear her say that. How tough she was ~ she had decided the future for Tarikua, her daughter, and it was to be...
What a blessing and a gift to have had this birth family experience for Tessa, my daughter. She's a daughter to both of us ~ from one end of this beautiful earth to the other, she has two mom's.