It was one of those days.

Not the dreaded “oh, one of thooooooooose days“.

It was good. Nothing specific which made it so. It just was.

A bike ride under the most amazing of open blue bright sunny skies. Heat (felt through the spring jackets). Peace. Contentedness. Chores and errands accomplished quietly. Children happy. Pacing ourselves through the stores, the library, along the paths.

It felt right.

We anticipated summer through it and because of it, but enjoyed the Now.


Yes, perhaps that was it. There was a calmness about the day, one which pervaded and superseded the busyness found in the tasks. It was a day in which the boredom anticipated by the emptiness found on the calendar could have resulted in cabin fever, raised voices, tears, and frustrated energetic beings wanting to be active.

And while two boys were out playing in the street with neighbourhood kids…hockey – what else?!…she and I were inside.

She’s not a baby anymore, you know?

It’s a realization becoming more and more apparent, daily.

  • Eleven teeth (two more swelling below the gums) in less than five months…with nary a complaint.
  • Three kilograms in six and a half months.
  • Words. Real words. Not many, but they are there and they are intentional and we soak them up. For these words are not only milestones in themselves but our child, our daughter, our toddler is overcoming and grasping not only new phonetics but those of a language she rarely heard until six and a half months ago.
  • And of course the baby babble. Priceless, you know?!
  • The growl of a dog whenever she sees one (including ours). It is fantastic to listen to a small sixteen month of girl growl to greet other four legged creatures.
  • Searching after requested objects.
  • Cleaning up when asked.
  • Reciprocating emotions.
  • Running from her position in front of the lens to perch her wee self in front of the display screen to see what she looked like during the last click of the button and flicker of the flash. And the joy in her eyes, on her lips, in her chuckle…she gets it. The action and reaction. The if-then concept. She gets those.
  • High five-ing. Oh the high fives given and received around here. And the laughter! It erupts contagiously when given to her brother and he pretends to be thrown backward at the slap two hands as they meet. These sounds. The cackles should be bottled and preserved.
  • And through it all, each moment, I wonder with ache at her birth mother’s whereabouts, well-being, heart, safety, health. I wonder what her birth mother is thinking and long to share these moments with her. And I know that I must rest in the knowledge that photos for now, being sent consistently, must be enough. Word of mouth, travelling countries and continents, must suffice and bring comfort. That they may bring some comfort.

 They must be etched in my mind. 

Desperately trying not to forget, I know some of these moments will be just that. Lost in the memory bank of joys, elations, tragedy, sadness, hair-pulling-frustration. I wonder how many of these moments with which our days are filled, will be forgotten and which will settle in our hearts and our minds and take root.

Oh, to hope and pray and yearn and ache that more are kept than lost.

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3 Responses to Etch

  1. “cackles…bottled and preserved” – now that really would keep hearts healthy 🙂
    thank you for this beautiful update!
    Looking forward to many hugs and high fives in May! xxoo

  2. joanne holland says:

    i really enjoy these updates….thank you!!…..Y’know Ash….that momma in Ethiopia will never doubt that her little one is being loved and cared for when she sees these pictures that you are sending…..i’m sure she never thought she would get the progress reports you send…i wonder how many who give up their wee ones get those?….
    i love the joy i see in your little sweety’s eyes and how healthy she looks…AND THOSE TEETH….they are beautiful!!!
    i remember hearing that i too growled at dogs when i was a wee one…my mother told me about that…ha ha…

  3. Andrea says:

    Loved this post… Thank you. A

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