We finalized Little One’s adoption this week.
It was, pretty much, the perfect day.
Except for the part when he was grumpy and yelled at everyone.
It was the day that changed nothing.
The actual details of our life look pretty much the same as they did before.
Tomorrow, I will stroke his curls and change his diaper and strap him into his carseat and drop him off at daycare and feel sad that I will spend all day with other people’s children instead of my own.
And grateful for a daycare provider who loves him like her own.
And then we will come home and laugh over dinner and read “Brown Bear” one hundred times and get baths and sing songs and hope for the best in his big boy bed (with his crib as a back-up option because we are not ready to die on the hill of the big boy bed just yet).
It will look pretty much like most of the days we’ve lived together over the past two years.
Except I will be able to breathe.
I will not have to ask for permission to cut his hair or to post his pictures or to let him sleep somewhere other than his own room.
I will not have to have all of his medical and daycare paperwork signed by a social worker.
I will not miss work or lose sleep over court hearings and other official meetings that may or may not happen at the time and place I am told.
I will not record every single thing (no, really, every single thing) for fear that some or another professional assigned to his case (most well-intentioned, many overworked, some completely burnt out) will not and I will need that exact date and time and phone number somewhere down the line to prove that I followed all of the rules and parented him well.
I will not cancel stuff I want to do because of required visits with some or another person who needs to lay eyes on him by some arbitrary date (which, by the way, is tomorrow).
I will not fret about what would happen to him if, God forbid, something happens to me. Because today, I get to make those decisions instead of the state.
I will not wake in a panic, sweating up until the last possible second that something could still go wrong, that he could disappear.
This week was the exhale.
The release of breath that I’d been holding for the last two and a half years.
My life looks the same
But I feel one thousand pounds lighter,
Like I am walking on air.
This, too, is adoption.