(written Thursday, posted Saturday because of website glitches).
Today is the two-week anniversary of the day we got our girls. They have been with us for fourteen days. One week ago we were staying up until wee hours of the morning packing for our long plane flight home.
There is a part of me that refuses to believe that so little time has past. Can it really only have been two weeks? Already the old life seems so far away. The orphanage that was our daughter's home and family already seems like something out of a long-forgotten dream. It is growing harder and harder to remember our life before we had these two beautiful girls.
"How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back?"
We are back in our same house. We are back in our same work. Many parts of our life are the same after a month-long hiatus. But everything is different now. We are parents. We have little children that must be cared for and fed and changed and washed. We have little children that curl up against us and go to sleep. We have little children with us that we can not return to *their* parents at the end of the day. There is only forward, there is no going back. When I kiss Juliana and she breaks into a huge grin and tries to return the kiss - it breaks our hearts to think about our sweet babies in the orphanage. How could people not want such wonderful children? And yet - we would not have predicted this path a year ago or two years ago. "Few can foresee whither their road will lead them, till they come to its end."
Saturday we had many visitors. It is a perfect time to have visitors - we weren't expected to feed people, we weren't expected to have a clean house (suitcases all over the living room), we looked half-dead from jet lag and nobody cared because they were mainly there to see the babies.
Sunday they went to church. Elena fit in well with the other children at the nursery. She found an animal cracker on the floor and ate it quickly. We had assumed she couldn't eat such things due to her cleft palate. She found another one unattended and ate it also. They had many admirers.
Monday the girls went school with us, where they met many members of their adoring public. Elena is a diver, she has no fear of heights and is always eager for someone new to cuddle her - so she practically dives out of one's arms to a new host. The girls also went to a pedatrician. He said that their iron levels were very good. Both girls had already gained a pound each in our care.
Tuesday the girls went to the hospital for tests. There was much poking and prodding and taking blood for additional tests. The poor girls were exhausted! Elena came home and went straight to bed, skipped dinner, and slept right on until morning.
Today we took the girls with us to go grocery shopping. We needed to go shopping because our house lost power during the tornados that hit our area three weeks ago. While we had a lot of food "made ahead", we know it all thawed in the freezer and then refroze once power was restored. Tonight we threw all the frozen food away and began anew (we would like to skip food poisoning). Elena helped us shop by destroying the list and throwing items out of the diaper bag (and out of the shopping cart). She did get a sample of chinese noodles from the sample lady and she liked these very much. Juliana helped us shop by sleeping the entire trip.