American Girl: second year

Today is the second anniversary of Marta’s arrival on American soil. Today she is an American Girl, two years ago today she became a citizen. Now, you might wonder why we make a big deal of this…it’s because it’s a big deal to her. We don’t do “gotcha days” for all our kids who were adopted….I’ve got conflicted feelings on that. We stop marking every homecoming and such. Gabey has been home three years now and we didn’t do his American Boy day. But it doesn’t have the same meaning for him, as he was 18 months old at the time. But for our Marta, it has huge meaning. Almost as much as coming into our family – and yeah, I could do multiple posts on that concept. But I probably won’t.

Anyhow, you might wonder why we make it a big deal. Well, a couple of reasons. First, is because it’s fun to have some hoopla; especially if we are out of the birthday seasons. Second, this one is a big marker for her and one that she can understand fairly well. She remembers her fear and nervousness going through customs. She remembers how hard it was to get permission to leave Ethiopia. She remembers her relief when we said, “We are in America and it was all ok, done.”

Why don’t we celebrate the family gotcha day? Well, because that is a bit more conflicted for her; some days that’s something to celebrate for her and some days, not so much. Going from an only child, losing both parents, and then launching into a big ol’ family is no picnic. And if you have some challenges and delays, it’s exponentially more difficult. Processing all that, the challenges, the grief, the trauma, the attachments, the good, the new, the better, the worse…is all so much. And so much harder lacking language and cognitive maturity and ability. So. We don’t really make a fuss about any family or gotcha day.

But American Girl day can be just good happy fun. Not as loaded. Something to smile and grin and talk about, simply. Easy remembering and easy looking ahead. And here we are at the beach..across America….my favorite spot in the world and, I think, soon enough one of hers. Last night she told me, “Every summer, California!” You betcha honey, sounds perfect to me too. And yes, in case you were wondering…any celebration worth it’s salt still must involve cake. And so we will have it: an American Girl Cake. {And no. not like the dolls of same name. Just a festive cake will do.} She’s already reminded me four times, and it’s only eight a.m.

Our Marti: our Ethiopian, Teen, American Girl.

{I have pitiful net here and can’t load new pics. Its the cost of doing biz at the beach}

3 thoughts on “American Girl: second year

  1. Happy Day, Marta! M, I am wondering if you have read MFG’s No Biking in the House….. And if so, I wondered what you think about it. I am about to finish it and dreading the thought that it will be finished. That’s the measure of a good book for me.

    • Christine, I did read it! Parts of it were hard…very close to the bone. Some of the tough times….. But yup a good read.

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