Nine months. Long enough to have grown inside my own belly…that’s how long she’s been a Cooper. And she has wiggled and scooched and squirmed her way deep into our hearts even though she came to us in a completely different way.
Month Nine was a good month. I was geared up for trauma…felt it lurking right behind my shoulders like a little whisper full of all the “what ifs”. What if she remembers all the anxiety of meeting us last year at this time. What if the holidays with all the present giving and sugar eating are just too much. What if she hates me when she realizes I just couldn’t buy the Lalaloopsy doll with the giant bobble head to put under the tree?
But in true Sunshine Style…she amazed us. There was grumpiness. Some sass. A few choice words here and there. But generally speaking…my girl rocked Month Nine.
She is basically ALWAYS game for a good time. The fact that nearly every day in December held a special something…was just right up her alley. She adored the parties. The cookies. The carols. All the hoopla that is Christmas in America was hers for the taking.
This month we embraced her natural hair again. This has been touch and go but was necessary and she is learning to enjoy her little afro. It is spunky and a bit wild just like her. She’s rocking the sparkly headbands and little puffs. She’s still asking for the braids but we are going to hold out for a bit longer.
She has a crazy, wild imagination. This has been one thing that has shocked me. So many children who come from hard places don’t know how to play. Because they were forced to grow up too quickly…that skill was never learned. But this girl just comes up with the most harebrained games and scenarios. On Christmas Eve she climbed into some empty boxes and headed right out to outer space. So thankful that God protected her childhood in this way.
The sister bond is growing….especially between Sunshine and Miss Middle. They are playing together more and more and really starting to appreciate each other!
Month Nine was full of so many firsts. And with every first comes a tiny breath of grief. I see her face light up at the sight of her decorated gingerbread house and I wish I had known those chubby cheeks as a toddler. When she pads down the hallway in her pajamas on Christmas Eve…I long for the memory of her tucked into her crib in her footie sleeper. When I lay on the couch with her watching a movie…I regret not knowing the weight of rocking her to sleep. When teeth poke through I wonder if she was a fussy baby. When she sings on stage in front of the entire church dressed as an angel…my heart aches to see her wrapped in a blanket fresh at birth. The grief of missing her babyhood shocks me. So I focus on the first. We make new memories and try to fill her life with experiences now that will carry her through.
She’s a special girl…this party animal.