In the adoption world, we talk quite a bit about a child's "family age," which basically means the amount of time that a child has been with his or her forever family. Since adopted kids have to deal with a lot of upheaval in their early lives, we're often advised to treat a child according to their family age instead of their actual age. For example, when Rose stopped sleeping a few months after she came home, I worked hard to see her as a seven-month-old instead of an eighteen-month-old when I was meeting her needs at night. When I was preparing for Rose to join our family, I read that an important milestone in an adopted child's life was when they had spent more time with their adoptive family than they had before they were adopted. Apparently, this is a time when a child really begins to feel secure in the permanence of their family life.
Well, friends, Rose was eleven months and five days when she was placed in our arms last March 12. This week, she will be twenty-two months and ten days. We've almost reached the point where she's been with us longer than she was in the SWI.
And while we've seen her grow (literally-- she's double the weight she was a year ago) and progress since she became our daughter, we're also seeing more and more personality emerging every day. At twenty-two months, we have a baby who loves nothing more than roughhousing with her daddy, running around with her brothers and sisters, getting herself into dangerous physical situations (she has no fear!), and kissing us all on the lips until we pull away and wipe our mouths. She usually has a smile on her face, and often a pair of forbidden scissors or a pen in her hand. She empties garbage cans and drawers with great regularity. Her favorite thing to drink is Coke Zero, so I've taken to drinking it only when she's asleep. She's not a snuggler, unless it's the middle of the night. She hears "no" a lot. I have a feeling that this child will barrel through life, charming everyone along the way.