When your life consists of diapers and feedings and laundry, you tend to lose track of time. I am surprised this has happened to me since I am such a planner. I live by my calender and always know what time it is. Or at least I did. Someone told me earlier this week that she was excited for a short work week next week and I had no idea why. Oh my. It's May! It's Memorial Day Weekend! I had no idea. The last time I knew it was a holiday was Easter. Miranda's birthday.
So here we are with an almost 8 week old in our house and everything has changed. In such an amazing way. Some of the changes you can see (like the Babies R Us wing in our house) and some you can't (like the depth of the love that we both feel for this itty bitty baby). Life is different now and I suspect it always will be. I also suspect that this is exactly what we have been waiting for. She is what was missing from our lives.
I struggle some days with how Allie fits into our family and then I realize that it's not really a struggle at all. She is Miranda's sister and she is the baby that we felt kick and grow. She is the butterfly that soars through the sky and she is the light in our soul. She is never far from our hearts and yet she is no longer the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of at night. Miranda is. I suppose some of that is time. Some of that is healing. Some of that is just life.
I have started to tour some local daycare centers in preparation for my going back to work. Some of the places are new and some I toured 2 years ago. For the ones that I already went to, I am usually asked if I have been there before. The first time I was asked, I said that I toured there a few years ago but that my daughter was stillborn. Oh the look that I got. Then the questions. I resented it immediately because although I could talk about Allie until the sun sets and then rises again, I was there to find a good place for Miranda. I did not want to short change either daughter. The next time I was asked, I simply said that I was on a tour a few years ago when I was pregnant but sadly that pregnancy did not work out. Is that any better? Was I denying one daughter to spare another? I do not think so. I think I was just being a mom.
Every so often I will be out with Miranda and someone will stop me to tell me how cute she is or how beautiful she is. People are still asking if she is my first. It's easier just to say yes. How do I explain that she is my second without explaining why my first is not also there with me?
A few have remarked how Miranda looks just like me. I smile and say thank you. At first I denied it and said something like, "I doubt it...she's adopted!" but now I do not even do that. I think she does kind of look like me. And somehow she does kind of look like Gary. She is as much ours as if she came from us and why explain that it's kind of impossible? We know and respect where Miranda came from and have nothing but gratitude and admiration for her birth mother. The fact of the matter is, though - we are her parents now. We really and truly are.
Stillbirth. Adoption. Parenting. They are all words that swirl around in my head. They are all a part of my life. Just as both of my daughters are a part of my life. Now and forever...please, pretty pretty please.