Happy (seven-twelfths of a) birthday

Dearest Ladybug,

Today you turn seven months old. I wonder how you celebrated the day with your foster parents. Do they eat birthday cake in China? How do you sing “Happy 7/12-ths of a birthday to you?” in Chinese? Do they celebrate this odometric milestone by smacking your patookus seven times, and once further to grow on? Questions, questions, questions.

Of course, on this side of the ocean, we celebrated your mini-birthday — paradoxically — by opening presents for us. Today we received our travel notice from China. After months and months and months (and did I mention months?) of waiting, China has now seen fit to hyper-accelerate the end of your adoption by sending us over there on November 7. Somebody sure had their caffeine when they sent this.

I can’t believe that in nineteen days, I’ll be a plane heading across the Pacific to finally meet you face-to-face, to hold you and kiss you and bring you home. It is amazing to me that it is on your seventh-month birthday that we got our travel plans! Happy birthday to us!

What amazes me most, little girl, is the fact that the very day we first meet you, they day adoptive parents call “Gotcha day,” is November 13, 2006. That is exactly two years to the day that your mom and I went to our first adoptive meeting. Two years to the day that we met your social worker and spoke with other adoptive families. Two years to the day that we signed our first adoptive papers. Two years to the day that we decided to adopt you.

Of course, what amazes your mother most, however, is the fact that the first day we meet you, this November 13, will also be her birthday. Your mother’s birthday! My little Ladybug, I’ve got to thank you for getting me off the hook for getting your mom a nice birthday present this year. Extra cake for you today!

(Then again, you’ve pretty much made suck any future birthday present I’m liable to get for the woman. Young lady, you are so grounded.)

Ladybug, I know that as you get older, you’ll grow sick of your mom and dad telling you the story of the red thread, and how it brought you to us, and we’ll prattle on and on and blah blah blah while you roll your eyes into your head in that particularly infurtiating way that little girls can, but right now that red thread is as solid and tangible as it’s ever been. We first learned of you the day after your baby cousin’s birthday, and you were found on your grandma’s birthday, and we got our travel plans on your seven-month birthday, and we finally get you on your mom’s birthday! You are, simply put, meant for this family!

(It also means I have big expectations of something spectacular for my birthday, kiddo. I’d suggest the Goldbach conjecture, if you’re looking for something to do.)

Happy birthday, little Ladybug. I love you!

Daddy

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