at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, after a 6 year battle, the last 14 months of which were hard fought, my mother finally allowed herself the rest she so deserved and left us.
My mother was a force of nature. For many years, this meant that we could not get along. But the day she became a grand-mother, so far away in China, we put all our differences aside, and we found our common ground. All the kids things I know about being a mother, I learned
them from her. Some of the things I do I also do because she didn't to them. But I appreciate that, because all she ever cared about was that we be happy.
From her, I get many of the traits that make me who I am: my creativity, my sense of style, my need to constantly over-do everything, my stick-to-ivness and ability to achieve whatever I set my mind to. That's exactely how she was.
She didn't see me turn 40. I know that was what kept her going, because she was 34 when her own mother died, and that was one of her regrets, that my grand-mother didn't see her turn 40. Somehow, I'm going to think of something special in the next few months, to make her really proud.
Dumpling turned 7 today. She had her first ever sleep over yesterday.
She is stunningly beautiful and super intelligent. She does struggle to read and to keep her composure, but when it's a good day, it's a really good day. She is hilarious and keeps us on our toes in many many ways.
To my Dumpling, I love you so much and I am so so very proud of you.
Believe it or not, it was 5 years ago today, in Nanning, that I met Dumpling and became her mom. She didn't get to meet her dad til 2 weeks later, but we still celebrate May 31st as her adoption day because he was there in spirits.
It doens't seem possible that it's been 5 years. She is such a grown up young lady. She is an incredible artist and a budding singer/actress (we tried so hard to keep her form HSM, she became a Hairspray fanatic instead and does a killer Tracy Turnblatt). She is now (finally!) a great eater and is very interested in cooking and baking and helping in the kitchen.
Most days, she is a fantastic big sister, though she is quite devious and can manage to convince her little sister to do all kinds of things she knows she shouldn't be doing!
Of course, on a day like today, I want to celebrate all that is wonderful about Dumpling. The truth is, it took a lot of work and patience and sometimes tears to get to this point. There are days when I just don't know if I will ever truly understand her. But we have persevered and all of us together, we are a family.
and tonight, we continued our tradition of taking a picture every year in the dress that I wore 5 years ago in China. When she is big enough, Dumpling will start wearing it.
Right before bed, we read Happy Adoption Day, a book Dumpling received as a baby git from our friends Susan,Gord and Cara-Li. Cara-Li is 1 year older than Dumpling and from the same orphanage. S and I became friends online and then in real life and now, 5 years later, we see each other regularly. As a matter of fact, CL and G came with us to the movies yesterday morning. So when I read the book tonight and pointed out the inscription to Dumpling, she was very pleased and expressed genuine gratitude for their friendship and the special bond that we have formed with that family.