After Don and De left for their date, Robbie and I let Deanna open her Christmas presents. Robbie got her a huge Tinkerbell craft set, a Cinderella blanket, and a Disney Princess sweatshirt. I got her a storybook creator craft, a Sleeping Beauty snow globe, and a book called Pinkalicious. We spent the rest of the night playing with her toys. The Tinkerbell craft set that Robbie got Deanna was a hit! It even came with a little paint-sprayer. That gift required alot of adult supervision. I was afraid Don and De's couch would be painted green by the time they returned home later that evening. Deanna's fine motor skills are exceptionally advanced for a four-year-old, and she managed to keep every bit of paint on the paper. Whew!
Then it was bath time. After Deanna's naked lap around the house, we managed to contain her and get her settled into the tub. Once she was actually in the tub, bath time was much easier than I thought it would be. She loves playing with her bath toys, and she even knows how to wash herself. It was a piece of cake! I still can't believe she's not a little babe anymore. I laugh when she calls me "Amy Hutton." Robbie is just "Robbie" but I'm "Amy Hutton." Isn't it funny that she calls me by my full name? I think she thinks that I have a double-name like many girls in the South.
After bath time, we read three books (including the ever-popular Pinkalicious) and put her into bed. Robbie laid beside her and scratched her back until he thought she was finally asleep. As he quietly tiptoed out of her room, Deanna said quietly, "Goodnight Robbie."
We are so blessed to be able to experience Deanna this way. I realized after Deanna was asleep, just how much work it takes to raise a child. It's 24/7! While I enjoyed every second of our visit, I was exhausted! We played and played and player some more. And I noticed something when we were playing. Deanna loves playing with baby dolls. When we were playing with her dolls, she would say to me, "Pretend you're the big sister." This happened a few times throughout the weekend. I think this is significant because my guess is that as Deanna gets older, she will probably start to identify with me as being more of a sisterly figure than a motherly figure. After all, we are only 18 years apart. As she gets older, I hope she feels comfortable enough to tell me anything and everything that you would normally disclose to an older sister. Yeah, we've got a great relationship now, but I'm excited to see what the next few years of our lives will bring.
I'm not sure whether we will continue these Christmas visits or not, but as long as Deanna, Don, and De are happy seeing us, we would love to make visiting South Carolina every December a tradition for many years to come. Aside from watching Clark Griswold flying down a snowy hillside on a sled coated with non-nutritive cereal varnish every Christmas, visiting Deanna last week has been my favorite Christmas memory yet.
This post was written for Open Adoption Roundtable #11.
"Write about open adoption and the holiday season."