I was having lunch with a friend the other day, and she asked me if having Teddy was surreal. And after thinking for a moment, I realized that for the first time, it doesn’t feel surreal. It’s feeling normal. For so many months. it was surreal. I would be changing Teddy and be overcome with the wonder that I have a baby on a changing table! Or I’d put him down for a nap and look around the nursery and pinch myself to make sure it wasn’t going to transform itself back into the storage room that it was for so long.
I’m still full of gratitude for the gift that Teddy is, but I don’t experience those moments of, wow, is this really happening? to such a degree. And I’m glad. Because those moments were always accompanied by the sense that this could end at any moment. And I hated that feeling. I knew it was completely illogical and irrational. This wasn’t going to end. Teddy’s birth parents weren’t going to try to claim him (and couldn’t, even if they wanted to). The agency wasn’t going to deem us unsuitable.
But really, until the judge granted our petition to adopt and issued Teddy’s adoption decree, there was always a niggling in the back of my head that something could happen.
But once we had that decree in hand, that feeling was gone. I left the judge’s chambers that day with the certainty that Teddy’s ours. For good.
Now it just feels normal to change him, to put him down for a nap, to watch him cruise around the furniture, to stop him from gnawing on the computer cord, to wrestle the phone from him, to realize he’s outgrowing his 12-month sleepers. Ok, that last one’s a bit surreal, yet. I mean seriously, 12-month clothes are too tight for a 9-month-old?! Maybe surreal isn’t the right word there, though. More like mind-boggling.
We still get looks when we go out—and comments, lots of comments—and we always will. But that’s just part of our new normal. Now I just enjoy going about our day and am no longer anxious that it might not all work out.