Our "Year of Jubilee" has been intense. Though adopting a toddler can't be likened to anything else, the past year has been somewhat like our first year with a newborn back in 2005: like a bomb went off, obliterating our former life. Of course, the most wonderful, new life was in store, but one can't see it at the time.
I can't speak for Jubilee, but if I could, I would say that she has gone from grieving, to accepting, to affectionate toward us, to where she is now. Now, she has forgotten her first two years. Now, she has forgotten how she came to be with us altogether. She has been asking questions like, "You hold me when I was a baby?" and, "I wear diapers when I was a baby?"
"Yes, you cried and I held you," I say (because I did).
"Yes, you wore diapers when you were a baby," I say (because I'm sure she did).
My friend Sonya gently recommended using the word, "adopted" around her, so she doesn't get hit in the face with it down the road. Seeing Sonya's wisdom, I implemented.
"Jubi, you are adopted," I told her yesterday. "Can you say that, Sweetie? Go ahead, say, 'I'm adopted!' It is something you can be proud of."
Jubilee beamed and said, "I'm padopted!"
As far as Jubilee's mama (that's me), I could go on and on about the wrenching journey G0D has taken me on over the past year. In a nutshell, though, it goes like this: before adopting a toddler, I had been able to do pretty much anything I put my mind to, and do it well (with the exceptions of dribbling a basketball and carrying a tune). Then, we adopted a sweet, beautiful 2-year-old girl and I was completely and utterly incapable of moving forward. I could hardly breathe. I almost literally heard my gracious, loving Creator say to me, "There, there, you aren't able without me, are you? You can see that now, can't you? Step aside. Let me handle this."