A year ago on the Fourth of July, we hugged our bigs extra tight and put them to sleep at my parents. We woke up early the next day and flew to California, to meet Lilou and her mom. I remember having my heart in my mouth all night during the fireworks, and wanting to hug the kids incessantly until they squirmed out of my reach, and wanting to believe this possibility was real.
We didn’t warn the kids we were going, knowing we had the distraction of Sassy and Poppi followed by tante Rachael. We didn’t know what to tell them. That flight felt so long, as we left them behind. But we really knew Amy was looking for us. I mean that literally. She described us! And meeting her and Lilou felt so right, from the first minute.
I knew then how dramatically this adoption would change our lives, but I didn’t know it would change the Fourth of July and fireworks forever. I’m not particularly patriotic, but I was teary all weekend this year. Our family would simply not be complete without Lilou’s stinker giggles, her glowing smile and full-body hugs. Tonight, she kept scratching my sunburn. I’d yelp, and shed pat my head with her other hand. Repeat 100 times. As much as it hurt, I couldn’t help grinning at her offhand empathy and love.
We’ve known this girl for a year. She will always be fireworks to us – they’re as bright as her smile and as startling at times as her stealthy getaways. Tess says, “Don’t worry! No big deal.” (By the way, when we hear this the worry is instantaneous and epic!) Lilou says nothing and just smiles really big, like “what?” The pair of them are inseparable and unstoppable. As tough as that can be, we’re so proud of them and in love with them.
And so, on this 5th of July, Dave and I revel in a lovely anniversary – the day we met Lilou. I suspect she’ll be the squirmy one from now on, as my desire for snuggles already competes with her need for speed. Well just enjoy her sparkle as we watch her roam, grinning, chasing her siblings around the patio at Sassy and Poppi’s.