Today I knew I'd feel happy reminiscence at each item of Cara's clothing. As I sorted through the boxes I remembered each adorable outfit, and the memories that went with them. Like this one, a 24 months one (Cara wore it at 18 months old):
Cara wore this one on a special play date with her friend Mia, also to a outdoor celebration at Harvard for my sister's law school graduation, and on a picnic with Mommy.
I took it out of the 24 months box along with a couple other items that seemed to run big and taped up the rest of "probably too small for Katie" items in that box to go back in the attic. Then out of nowhere, I felt a horrible realization... something I barely ever consider. By the time Doug came to bring that box back up into the attic, I was in tears. Kate's 4 years old. I missed her at this age:
and at this one:
During those times, the first, in an orphanage crib the majority of the day, and the second, in a foster home... I wasn't there to hold her or kiss her or hear her giggle. Those FOUR YEARS are gone. I can't explain really how it makes me feel. I didn't expect this aspect and I am pretty sure this particularly feeling will be magnified when I'm rocking her to sleep, etc. There is definitely grief over it in my heart, no doubt.
I also have JOY though... I fully realize that there is no point dwelling on the negative. I choose to focus on the positive, I have two beautiful, precious daughters to fill these NEW dresses and to make memories with! Spring 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 we may have all spent apart. There is nothing I can do about that. BUT Spring 2014 and the next several decades are going to be AWESOME and filled with memories.
I'm SO thankful for the gift of two children to love! They were both worth the wait!