Today is Jupiter's last day of being 4. In a few hours, she'll be five years old.
How can this be, exactly? I remember waiting the long five months between trip one and trip two, and working on her lifebook, which is the adoptive family's version of a baby book. Lots of our kids are not newborns or infants by the time their forever families are formed, so a traditional baby book doesn't always work. Jupiter's has some scrapbook pages that I made, stories I wrote about her adoption process, a family tree ( I read a FRUA post a couple of weeks ago about a class that did a loving tree instead of a traditional family tree, and the kids could put all the people who were important to them on the limbs. I thought that was so GREAT.) and birthday pages. I did pages for her 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th birthdays, and I remember thinking when I did the last one how long it would be before I got to fill it in. And now it's tomorrow?! She's in her room at the moment, in her bed but not sleeping, because she's too excited about her birthday party to sleep. I just threatened her with not being able to go to school tomorrow and not bringing the special treats for her class snack. (a box of ice cream sandwiches for $1.25. What a great week for Hannaford to have their 125th anniversary sale. Thanks, Hannaford!)
So at the moment she's quiet. But not in bed, she just snuck down the hallway.
There are a couple of times a year I think of Jupiter's birthmother; as I aknowledge the gift she gave to me. Mother's Day is one, as it falls in May and is the anniversary of my departure date for trip two. The other is of course, my daughter's birthday. I wonder about her birth, what she was like when she was so small, and wish I could have been there for her when she was at her tiniest. I wonder about all the questions Jupiter will ask when she is more grown up, and able to see her birthday in the context of more than cake and presents? For now she doesn't ask much; she just accepts that she was born in Russia the way other kids were born at Maine Medical Center or Mercy Hospital. She did ask once whose tummy she grew in, when we were having our "what it would be like if I was in your tummy?" conversation. She's getting old enough now, to decide if she wants to tell kids she's adopted, and recently I have struggled to answer the people who just assume she is my bio child and mention that our eyes look exactly alike. I don't want to lie, but I begin to feel that it's Jupiter's story to share or not as she chooses. Of course I hope she will choose to share it. I am so proud of her as she grows up to be smart and beautiful, and works to control and positively express her boundless strength and spirit.
She's not going to bed...the joys of birthday excitement!!!
10 hours ago