So, today is three months.
Three months since Miss Marta T landed in America. Stepped foot on US soil and became a citizen (IR3 visa, don't get all worked up, Gabey came on IR4, it's just different).
Three months of adjusting to a tsunami of change: only child to big family, no parents to two parents and even more: us, new food, new smells, new sights, new language, new ways, new everything single thing you can think of to name.
So, how are we doing? How is Marta doing?
I hope we are doing pretty well. That's the funny thing, it's kind of impossible to know in a way.
With older child adoption its a different kind of road. It doesn't come with the same maps as infant or toddler adoptions. There are almost no standards or norms, it seems. Because every child comes with so much history that their trajectory and ways are their own. Unique. Meaning, their paths, their ways, the adjustments, their quirks, their traumas, their charms are all unique to their very own self. And you can compare if you like (and its OH so tempting to do it), but it's not at all the same as comparing when your kid walked or talked or got their teeth. Those markers are not nearly so clear in this arena.
So, instead of judging this soon, I'm gonna throw out what's up at three months; what we know and what we are learning. About our new daughter: Marta Therese.
The beach is beautiful.
California is nice.
Swimming is so much fun.
It is very hard to learn to swim but its a ball anyhow.
Mom and Dad think this means there are big hazards around water.
Especially the ocean because its so easy to tip over and fall, even just standing there.
Because if you look down, it's disorienting.
Music is just the best.
Singing is good too.
Mom is very funny when she tries to sing and dance.
Shopping is one of the best of things.
Especially with an older sister.
Pink is maybe the best color ever.
And maybe yellow too.
Quilting and sewing is just fascinating.
Its new, but feels pretty good to be able to learn it.
Its great to be able to do it on your own, all by yourself.
Those seams will get straighter with practice.
That sewing machine makes ya feel powerful!
Those quilts are crazy colorful charm.
American food is great.
Pasta and pizza are always great.
Salad and ice cream are best of all.
Sweet potatoes are disgusting.
Carrots aren't much better.
But so many choices are just a thrill.
The rules of restaurants are a little hard to figure out though.
Ordering, why can't you change your mind?
Dentists are very nice, but not much fun to visit.
Braces are very exciting to think about though.
Pink is the color already picked out for the bands.
America is fun.
Movies are amazing!
Roller coasters can be very fun.
But they can also be very scary.
Boats are very fun.
School is fun, still.
Except for math and learning to tell time.
The english teacher is just so nice!
English is a very hard language to learn.
A big family is a good thing.
Except when the smaller ones make you crazy being pests.
But big brothers and sisters are wonderful.
Except when the big sister keeps you up at night studying with both music and lights on.
And except for when you have to figure out shower schedules.
And where to sit in the car or at the table.
And family rules are not always fun either.
You'll get in trouble if you cut your own hair.
Or ignore mom or dad or are rude.
Mom holds to those rules and will yell and scold.
But then its ok again after it all.
Buddybug is very much missed.
But its exciting to think he'll be home in less than a week for a bit.
Maybe the best part of a big family is that means BIG family.
And aunts and uncles and cousins.
Maybe the very best thing of all is to have grandparents.
And a Grandma who understands somehow.
Best of all are hugs from her, and mom and dad.
Three months is just the beginning.
The whole family is still adjusting.
Adjustments are both big and small ways.
Things can be hard.
Things can be so frustrating.
Feeling sad can make your whole body hurt.
Or parts of it.
It can feel lonely sometimes.
It can be so confusing too.
Its easy to get out of sorts and not really know why.
Things are very strange here.
But are starting to feel more normal, a little.
We all hope it gets easier.
Some days it is.
Some days it's not.
Some days you get a glimmer of feeling that depth, just under there, and its a shiver of good.
And you know, it's worth it to keep on trying.