But just below the surface, her past is there. She feels secure enough to talk about it. She's still trying to figure out this forever thing.
In the past couple of days, she has said things like this:
- I can wait here while you go get some water. Nobody will take me.
- I can get dressed in my own dressing room. I'll scream if anyone tries to steal me.
- If a bad guy takes me away, I'll fight him like I used to fight you. (I pity the fool.)
- Is he a bad guy? (Always about men in utility/construction trucks.)
Cupcake has had real life encounters with bad guys.
She has also had very scary experiences with good guys that were doing all they could to protect her.
The 4th of July brings up a lot of emotions for me. Two years ago, she had her 2nd abandonment hearing, in which a judge declared her abandoned and available for adoption. Besides the sadness for all she had lost, and the joy of being able to continue our adoption, I spent July 4th, 2007, dreaming of holding my baby. For the first time in almost a year, I dared to imagine her squiggly body sitting in my lap. After a year of uncertainty, risk, helplessness, hopelessness, and fear, I finally allowed myself to imagine her with us. As I sat and watched the fireworks, tears streamed down my face. Our baby had made it through the minefield called the Guatemalan Family Court System. Not many do.
So, last night, as we lay in her bed, we talked about some of the fun things we've done lately. A little later, I shared with Cupcake some of the emotions we experienced July 4, 2007. As I recounted the judge's decision that her Mama Gabriela was not coming back and that Cupcake deserved a family. I asked if she remembered that day. She suddenly sat up and said, "Guatemala was no fun. There was nothing good there. I am NOT going back to Guatemala! I don't ever want to go back there!"
"Why not, Honey?"
"Somebody might take me away from you."
"Oh Honey, no one could ever take you away from us. We're your Mommy and Daddy forever."
"Well, I don't care. I am NOT going back. You can go back when I get married."
Well, okay then, perhaps a second honeymoon... :-)
"You know, Cupcake, you don't ever have to go back if you don't want to."
"Good, because I don't want to."
"Well, if you ever change your mind..."
So as I prepare to go see the fireworks with my family, my mind is filled with thoughts of freedom, and loss, and unknown fears. My heart is swelling with love for this little one who is making her way in this world. I'm so proud of her strength and courage. She faces her fears head on, and runs to Daddy and me for security.
As the fireworks burst, so does my heart.
Blessings to you,