Thursday, January 08, 2009

Happy Familiversary to Us

I've been a bad blogger. I want to write. I want to sit at my desk and write and write and write, posts and posts and posts. Posts about how my New Year's Resolution is to have less anxiety, and posts about how unbelievably smoke-filled casinos are, and how much I love that we have good friends to spend time with, and posts about how I think working in divorce court is monumentally soul-sucking.

And as much as I want to write, there hasn't been much time to write, and when there has been time to write I've been so wiped out that mostly I just read other people's blogs and TelevisionWithoutPity.com and watch stuff from Netflix.

But today, TODAY it is very important that I write. Because TODAY is the second anniversary of our Giving and Receiving Ceremony. TODAY is the second anniversary of the day we went from being a family of three to being a family of four.

A few days ago, I was sorting through Lana's clothes, and bagging up things that were too small. (She has been growing like a weed lately). At the corner of one of her drawers was a wrinkled pair of yellow capri pants with a bad stain over the knee.

She is wearing the pants in this photo.
David and Lana in Hanoi

We bought those pants two years ago tonight, at a shopping center in Da Nang. (We also bought her a yellow sweatshirt with a red tulip on it, and a pair of pink pants and a turtle neck. And crayons and coloring books and boxed milk, and pretty much anything else that she pointed at in the grocery section of the shopping center, because she was so very thin. And she wouldn't eat much, aside from fruit.)

The reason that the pants have a terrible stain on the knee is because she was wearing them when I dropped her. In the road. Yes, in. the. road. In Vietnam. Where traffic is INSANE.

I don't think I blogged about this when it happened.

We were walking in the road near the Somerset Westlake in Hanoi and I was carrying her in my arms, when my shoe caught in something and I tripped...and I dropped Lana in the road and she was almost crushed by a taxi.

When I think about it now, when I think about what might have happened, what could have happened, it makes my heart beat really fast and I feel panicky.

More panicky, in fact, than I felt at the time it happened.

I think I was numb. I think I was in a state of heightened awareness. I think I had reached a level of 'completely-and-utterly-freaked-out' that was previously unknown to me. So dropping my newly adopted child in the road in front of a taxi didn't really register as it probably should have.

And with two years hindsight, all I can say is Thank God, Thank God, Thank God that taxi driver stopped.

This has been quite a journey. We are in such a different place than we were two years ago tonight, when Lana fell asleep watching a Strawberry Shortcake video in a hotel bed in the city where she was born, a city she may never return to.

Tonight we went to dinner as a family, and Lana gleefully ate a cheeseburger and french fries and lettuce and tomatoes. She stole shrimp off my plate.

Afterwards, Lana and went shopping, because Coldwater Creek was having a 70% off sale and Gymboree was having a 60% off sale, and Lana grinned at me and said, "Let's Go SHOPPING MOMMY!"

We are dangerous together, she and I.

I could not bring myself to throw out those yellow pants. They are tucked in the back of her closet, and someday, maybe, I will tell her the story of why there is a stain on the knee, and why, of all of her clothes, I kept that pair of wrinkled pants, even when they no longer fit her.

11 Comments:

Blogger KelleyO said...

Happy Familiversary!!! I love reading your posts like this it gives me such hope.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger mam said...

I have the shoes we brought for her to wear in Vietnam hanging in a shadow box on my wall...and a similar rememberance. They remind me of the panic I felt those first days, when I realized my 10 month old wasn't ready to walk; she couldn't even sit up by herself. And those scary self-soothing behaviors. And our fear.

And, wonderfully, where we are now, and what a happy happy girl she is.

Happy familiversary!

Friday, January 09, 2009 12:23:00 AM  
Blogger Jena said...

Happy Familiversary indeed.

Friday, January 09, 2009 9:11:00 AM  
OpenID mrsbroccoliguy said...

Happy Familiversary! (Love that word. Love. It.)

A little advice? Don't tell her that story when she's 13. She won't get the sweetness of seeing how far you've come she'll just hear "you dropped me in front of a taxi" and never let you live it down. Well, if she's anything like my 13 year old anyway.

But how far you all have come! And how blessed you are to have a shopping buddy!! :-) Seriously, she sounds like such a joy and it makes me happy to hear how good things are now.

Friday, January 09, 2009 9:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Law mommy, I've been reading your blog for a while now and I am delurking to say what a great, touching story that is. Thank you so much for sharing it and for your honest, clear voice. I just love reading your posts.

Happy Familiversary indeed!

Friday, January 09, 2009 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger thecurryseven said...

First, Happy Familiversay!

Next, I thought, 'Yes, she shared the story about the street and the taxi', then I realized you included that story in an email to me the last time we were in VN; mainly because we were staying at the same hotel. Really without seeing that street first hand, I don't think anyone can fully appreciate how terrifying your story is.

We'd love to take TM back to Danang. (We didn't make it there last summer for a variety of reasons.) It would be fun to go with a couple of other families! Think of it...the beaches, the food, the atmosphere, the food...

Friday, January 09, 2009 3:44:00 PM  
Anonymous char said...

What a wonderful day. Happy Familiversary!
We stayed at the Somerset Westlake and I know the traffic of which you speak. I well up reading your post and the other comments, when I think of all the wonderful families that were made who stayed in that same location..

Friday, January 09, 2009 4:07:00 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Happy Family day. I remember your blog from then (cause we were just home) and you didn't mention that fall when there. I am sure it was nerve racking!

Saturday, January 10, 2009 8:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Happy Familyversary!!! I think it is so sweet that you are saving those pants, even though the cirucmstances of the stain are rather scary.

Saturday, January 10, 2009 3:22:00 PM  
Blogger maxhelcal said...

Oh yeah....that traffic is scary. I don't think anyone can truly grasp the feel of it unless you experience it.

I must go back to DaNang! The best meal I ever had was at the Furama on the night we brought Bronte back to the hotel with us. Our room was right on China Beach and it was heavenly. The whole place just took my breath away. I don't feel much affinity to Hanoi or Ho Chi Man City. I think I could actually live in DaNang for a period of time. I just loved it, so full of culture and beauty. I remember reading about your trip and your experience in DaNang was much different than ours. (Cause I know you are thinking I am crazy reading me saying I could live there)

Sunday, January 11, 2009 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Trannyhead said...

Aww. Isn't it funny how we get sentimental about stuff like that? I'll always keep some of Sumo's stuff even if we never have another boy.

Monday, January 12, 2009 6:01:00 PM  

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