Boy, do we have a lot of cute photos for you this time! Jarrah wore her first party dress yesterday! It was corduroy and had tiny cherries on it (it is starting to get disturbing when I look in her closet and there are rows and rows of cherry-themed garments) and she wore her first pair of tights! Of course, they were comically baggy around the ankles, but we cinched them in with a brand new pair of pink shoes. The occasion was our second kiddie birthday party--Isabella turned one! It was a bright sunny day at Overlook Park (which, true to its name, had a lovely view) and there were yummy roast beef sandwiches and potato salad and, most exciting of all (though I'm a mean mommy and didn't let Jarrah have any) cupcakes with perfect pink frosted roses for tops. I was transported directly to my Candyland dreams with one bite!
It was joyous to see all the babies playing together in their beautiful spring outfits, appreciating how far we've come in a year. However, it was not an adoption-friendly event, and Jarrah got a lot of stares. Yes, yes, many were simply agog at her beauty, but I fielded more than a welcome amount of interrogation, too. One older man asked me if the process was "difficult," to which I responded, "Well, it took 14 months, but it wasn't difficult. And there were no shots in my ass." A younger woman near him stared openly and issued the following non-sequitur: "A woman I know adopted from China. Her daughter is about five now. And very smart." Really, what is up with this "and very smart" thing? I get that a lot. People tell me how their friend of a friend adopted from China, and wrap up by weighing in on the child's intellect. Is this what they do when they talk about their friends' biological children? "We saw little Jimmy at the picnic last week. He's so smart. He threw a ball with great dexterity. His skipping is developmentally on track. And he says 235 words!" It irks me because I feel like it happens enough that people are trying to reassure me that, while we're unable to pass on David's creative genius and my bookishness, at least our daughter has a chance of not being a cretin.
Then another nice gentleman announced "Well, thank god there are people like you." This is another one that floors me. I ended up saying something stupid like "Thank god there are children like Jarrah," but that doesn't make any sense, does it? Am I suggesting that I want there to be MORE abandoned children than there already are? Uh, no. Am I suggesting she's "special" in some way? No (though really she is. :)) I have to come up with a better response. David suggested "You mean infertile people?" but that's often more than I want to share. Later, I thought of "Yes, I am quite the saint" or maybe "I really am amazing" but it begs the question of what will I do when people say this kind of thing in front of Jarrah when she understands? It really is very sad to contemplate. Should she then turn to me and supplicate herself in gratitude for my philanthropic largesse? I should hope not. It's totally misguided, anyway--if anyone is in doubt, I want you to know that David and I adopted Jarrah for the most selfish of reasons: we wanted a child of our own; we wanted to be parents. I think that at times people are so amazed that we're raising a child who doesn't look like us that they can't imagine that other essential part.
Okay, hopping down off the soap box: I get vertigo up there! The party was actually really fun; my spirit wasn't crushed or anything. Occasionally, though, I get frustrated that there hasn't been an end to my having to drop trou so strangers can diagnose my bits. Now it's just metaphorical instead of actual. I guess I better just get used to it--after all, it's what I signed up for.
I had a nice afternoon, too. David hung out with Jarrah while I went to buy new sneakers and get my toes done. I never got the sneakers; I saw the rows and rows of white shoes with the cards indicating their different purposes, realized I had forgotten socks, and almost slipped into a coma. I decided that coffee and a magazine were more my speed. Also, when did the world get so crowded, with so few parking spaces? When I started going to the mall on Saturday afternoons instead of Wednesday mornings, that's when. The pedicure was near-bliss. I set myself up with a trashy mag and a color called "Aphrodite's Pink Nightie" while my feet soaked and the poorly designed massage chair grinded away at my lower back. Ah, heaven. I was hoping to have my first-ever pedicure where I didn't feel obligated to make bright and aimless chit-chat with the aesthetician, which distracts me from my massage and is also a hell of a lot of work because I seem to understand only every fifth word. Alas, it was not to be. Thus ensued a seemingly endless story about a "really mean" two-year-old daughter and a lot of me nodding and saying "Oh my!" and "How about that!" Still, my toes look great, and I got to watch Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie in "The Simple Life" on the flat screen and feel really, really smart even though my brain these days seems to function like it's been in a blender with a fruit smoothie.