Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

I have never been so glad to see the back side of a year. 2007 was, without question, an exhausting, trying, stressful, emotional rollercoaster. My only wish for 2008 is that it be less of all of those. And that we are able to dig ourselves out of debt. That feels more like a pipedream, though, than some kind of New Year's resolution, so less drama is the official goal for my new year.

Switching topics now. I want to say to any of you reading this blog because you're considering adoption: It is the best decision I think we've ever made. And if you've wondered whether it's possible to bond with an adopted child as well as with a biological one, my experience has been yes, yes, and more yes. I feel a connection with Meron that I'm not even sure I felt with Eliana at the same age. It's possible that Eliana just never slowed down long enough for me to feel as connected with her. She was either awake and moving, or asleep, without much in the way of transitioning from one state to the other. Meron takes her time to fall asleep, and loves to snuggle in with me before doing so. Lately, she has started a beautiful little routine that brings tears to my eyes every night. She finishes her bottle and I hold her so that her head rests of my shoulder, facing away, and I hug her with both my arms and rock her. After a few seconds, she takes a deep breath and lets it out. I do the same. Then she does it again, and I respond. We do that a few times, and then she lifts her head, looks at me, gives me a kiss, smiles her huge dimply smile, and then puts her head back down on my shoulder. I get a little choked up just writing about it. When we do this, I feel an enourmous connection with her, as though we merge our souls for a few brief seconds, we kiss, and then she falls asleep. It is an indescribably healing, spiritual experience for me, and by far my favorite part of the day. So yes, I have so far had the most positive experience with adoption imaginable, and I love Meron more than I ever thought possible.

Lest you think I'm planning to send Eliana to boarding school next year and forget all about her, never fear. She continues to be a challenge, certainly, but she is a brilliant, delightful, energetic little person who will one day make a noticeable impact on the world, that is certain. She and I are still a team, and love taking her to the movies, the theatre, the zoo, the grocery store, you name it. She's my favorite little companion and makes me laugh on a daily basis. She is now in the process of mastering a 300-piece puzzle, is well on her way in reading, plays computer games on her own, and this afternoon when she was upset with me in the car, muttered, "Mom, you're unbelievable." I could say the same thing for her. She's starting to express some fatigue with having a little sister. The first sign of this was when she was sleeping over at her friend's house and told her friend's mother that Riya (her imaginary friend) likes to kill babies. Call me an over-interpreter, but I'm guessing it may be connected to having a baby sister who most decidedly has been getting on her nerves lately.

Meron, by the way, is now walking all over the place. She has not only caught up on all developmental milestones, but is a little ahead of the average. Eliana is ambivalent about all this mobility. Meron can now take apart Eliana's towers, walk over to where she's sitting and pull on her hair, and follow her around making all sorts of loud noises. It's the noise Eliana complains about most, ironically. Eliana hasn't stopped making sound since she emerged from the womb, so I'm not sure she has much of a leg to stand on when it comes to complaining about another young child's sound production, but nevertheless, she doesn't like the noise. She told me yesterday she wants to trade in Meron for a different baby. I'm going to file this under normal and not worry too much about it.

I'll post Christmas pictures very soon, hopefully tomorrow, so check back.