Passing the 10-day mark was huge for us. Jubilee has become more than Hong Hong from the Yangchun orphanage, who was the favorite of her caretakers (they told us so); who once, when scolded for taking off her clothes and throwing them from her bed all over the room, took them off the next time and folded them neatly at the foot of her crib (they told us that, too). She has become more than a new little face at our dinner table. More than a toddler who points to the potty or the window when she is nervous. More than a Chinese baby in American clothes being taught to hold a fork; who doesn't like our food, who turns her nose at desserts, who wipes her own bum and brushes her own teeth and misses like CRAZY the sippy cup she used to be allowed to fall asleep sucking on.
Somehow, yesterday, out of the clear blue, she became (in addition to the above), our daughter. Its not like she wasn't before. She was born in our hearts many, many months ago, and our love for her has been there much longer than even she has. The moment they put her in my arms, she was mine, and I pity the fool who might have dared take her out of my arms again. I would have died for her. Right there on the spot.
And yet, there is a difference between that kind of love, and the sort of comfortable, "Hey, Babe, how ya doin?" kind of the love - the sort of love that doesn't need to be given a thought because it just is, and that's all there is to it. That, my friends, is what I felt for her yesterday, for the very first time.
She is Jubilee Rupp. I will stroke her hair across my lap the first time some bloke breaks her heart (again, I pity the fool), and I will decorate some venue extravagantly for her Sweet 16, and Daniel will walk her down the aisle with tears rolling down his cheeks.
Adoption is more than a decision, more than a financial question, more than a "good thing to do." Adoption is as real as any EPT, as painful as any of my three labors, and as I am just beginning to see, it is as beautiful as any moment I've had in my life.
I love you, Jubilee.