Last Saturday, on June 14th, we received in the mail the Holy Grail of all adoption paperwork. The thing we paid the Department of Homeland Security for. The thing we were fingerprinted in San Antonio for. The I-171H. This paper means our government has said we can adopt from Ethiopia. It says we have been picked over, checked out, and scoured for anything that might make us ill-equipped as parents. Or worse. I have friend who put hers into a lock box. I read about another woman who was at home alone (who had been checking the mail hopefully everyday like I had been) and when she discovered it was there, ran and jumped onto her unsuspecting neighbor who happened to be watering the lawn. It is hard to explain the monumental meaning of a piece of paper to people unfamiliar with international adoption. But it is THE paper. And I'm thrilled to have my sticky, happy, shaking fingers on it.
Oh my sweet Eden. What a joy... Such a tender-hearted goofy girl. She forgives easily, doesn't retaliate, can't follow directions to save her life, and is a ladybug magnet. She has a quiet strength that is easy to miss. She could win a medal for pouting. She loves deeply and fiercely.
Here's my most recent funny Eden story: I generally try to not have to go to the grocery store with all three gals. Target or something is fine. I can even do Costco with no trouble. But there is something about the small Sun Harvest around the corner from our house that brings out the crazy in my girls if they are all there together. It is a small store that gets surprisingly crowded. They save up the crazy for this store. I spend the entire time either apologizing to other patrons, or saying things like "Please stop being a train."
So with school out, I found myself in the parking lot of Sun Harvest taking deep breaths. So I say, "Okay, I want to talk a bit about behavior in the store. I want to see calm bodies, that stay close to me, and children who listen to my words. I don't want crazy jumping in the aisles, or silly, loud noises. It is a small store and when you guys go crazy in it, it makes me feel---" Now I didn't pause, or struggle for my next word, but Eden with a smile on her face, before I can speak my next word says, "Bossy?" And I started laughing even though it was annoying and I said, "Nooooooo, I was going to say frustrated, but I can get bossy real fast..."
That trip was smooth sailing. And I didn't even have to get bossy.