We didn't really celebrate Independence Day (though we had a lovely day with my parents): This year July 4 is squished between work days. Ds has an ear infection. And no one in our house slept last night (ds's ear infection awoke him, Miss I. went ballistic when he tried to join us in bed, dh tried to rock I. back to sleep while I lay down with ds, only to be shoved out of bed and on to the floor and then to be asked sadly, "Momma, where did you go?!") And it's rainy here, as it is in 43 other states. So no celebration.
But today we didn't-celebrate with our newest family member (who was, despite our lack of festivity, decked out in star spangled pants). She's already become American in some not-so-good ways: "No." "Mine." Picky eating and refusing to eat from the spoon I've loaded with yogurt and choosing instead to dump it because hey, she can. Shock at Toys R Us (her huge non-blinking eyes and head all a-swivel cracked us up) quickly dissolved into a love of shiny plastic crap with noise and lights.
But it really struck us all day that she is here, with us, now, in America! and that while it only seems to my sleepless brain that I have been both snuggling this little girl and exhausted forever, it was only a little over two weeks ago that she got off a plane, got in line for Immigration and Naturalization with a sealed brown envelope from the US Embassy in Addis, and was on the road to becoming a US Citizen. And that struck us as insanely weird and funny and also wonderful.
Happy first Independence Day, Miss I! I promise we'll see fireworks next year.
Coming soon - a rehashing of the Italian/Ethiopian conflict in honor of and preparation for an upcoming family reunion. Now there's some fireworks.