Friday, December 9, 2016

Heart Letter, Month 84

Dear Lucy,

You are 7 years old!!
You had many celebrations to celebrate turning 7 starting with a cake and gifts at Papa and Meme's house over Thanksgiving.
We spent most of a week having fun in FL with our family including playing with your cousins Drake and Lainey...
Getting hugs from Aunt Sherry...
Convincing your cousins Stefan and Joe to carry you around and play for hours in a jungle gym...
More love from Aunt Kathy....
And, of course, many hugs and love from Papa and Meme.
Your favorite part of the trip, as per usual, was getting to see and play with all the animals we encountered from Aunt Sherry's new puppy Ruby...
To Karlie's great menagerie of birds, hermit crabs, bunnies, cats, dogs and a horse.

After blissfully brushing Santana down, you got to steer her all on your own for the first time as Karlie let you have control of the reins after a lesson or two.
Once home, your birthday landed during the school week so we had a small family celebration first.

I'm happy to say that you really look forward to your special gift from China each year.  This year it was a Lion puppet.
Five years ago when I was shopping for 18 years worth of birthdays, I had hoped it would become something you would anticipate happily. Although we don't talk much about it yet as I am trying to follow your lead on the subject, I know that somewhere in China there is a mother and a father who think about you on your birthday. I know they would want to give you a present if they could and these small gifts from your birthplace are my way of connecting you to them. I know you will soon start questioning your origins, the circumstances that landed you here with us, processing that information and sorting through the emotions each new piece of information brings. Perhaps these gifts can be a gentle reminder that your birth parents did the best they could for you under the circumstances they were under. Instead of being angry and resentful that they couldn't care for you, let this be a way to find forgiveness and compassion for two people who made the hardest decision a parent could make.

This weekend you got to invite a few girls over for your birthday party--a flower fairy themed affair. Ms. Erika, the author and illustrator of the Bellossoms series, came to read Book 1 and give you all a lesson in drawing.

She even made you into a Bellossom!
Your party ended with an afternoon of playing in the first snowfall of the season.
You love art so this was a great party for you. You came home with some art of your own this month. First up was a Thanksgiving placemat that listed what you were thankful for: "My cat, my sestr (sister), my momy, my Dady, my saf (self)". Bella got top billing I see!
You are doing exceptionally well with your Chinese character writing and you find it much easier by far than reading/writing in English.
You are still very much enjoying school especially since there are a lot more opportunities to celebrate out-of-the-box moments. Pajama Day was an especially exciting day for you.
Lunch with a Loved One combined with the Book Fair was another exciting day.
Twice-a-day recess combined with daily P.E. also gets high  marks from you. Your ability to jump in and play, the ease with which you make friends and your overall enthusiasm for life is infectious.
Whether it is hanging upside down with the girls on the monkey bars or playing football with the boys, you transition from one to the other with ease.

Your go-with-the-flow attitude came in handy this week when you ended up with braces on our last visit to Dr. Boyd. It turns out that the tooth coming through your fistula is a wonderful thing as it means there is bone there, either from the actifuse fistula surgery you had last year or from just normal growth. Either way, it means no surgery for you for now. Unfortunately, the tooth is coming in sideways which means we need to straighten it out. That = braces. You were skeptical at first but once you saw them you were thrilled!
On a side note: I love this picture below. You know why? Because when we first got you, you did not automatically curl your fingers around mine when I would place my finger in your palm. Most babies do...it is an automatic response. It has taken 5 years for your body to develop the touch response that babies have with their mothers and now here we are, finally, you and me. Daughter and Mother, giving and finding comfort in each other.
 Let me say that braces have come a long way since I had them in middle school. I had them for 4 years and they Totally. Sucked. I had giant bands around each tooth and lots of food restrictions. These are like delicate jeweled dots on each tooth with your choice of colors where the wires are attached. You chose purple for this round.
I want you to know that you light up my life. You are strong, silly, funny, intelligent, stubborn, LOUD, enthusiastic, creative, and kind. And now, to wrap up your letter, here are a few of your favorite things this year:

Favorite Color: Red
Best Friend: Lamar
Favorite Animal: Lion
What do you want to be when you grow up? Veterinarian
Favorite Movie: Tarzan
Favorite Book: Simone Biles autobiography
What makes you happy? Gymnastics
What makes you sad? When Mom says No.
Favorite Food: Bananas
Favorite Song: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Favorite Game: Soccer
Favorite TV show: Paw Patrol


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