Always my little girl

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Author: 
Peter, adoptive dad
Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

What a difference three years can make.

We recently attended an interracial adoptive families get together. It is a valuable resource for all of us. Our daughter gets to see other families that look like ours, and my wife and I get to hear other experiences that help us realize we’re not doing that badly.

We were asked if our daughter had experienced any trauma and the immediate response was “no”. But then thinking about it, there certainly has been: her birth mom died when she was just a toddler; leaving her father and brother behind in Africa at age six; moving to a new country and learning a new language; and joining her first Canadian family and having the adoption disrupt at age six, which was when we were introduced to her.

Back then “family” was the “F” word to this little girl. She never said it, and didn’t want to hear it either. Time, patience and unconditional love has made a world of difference.

Reassuring her that she was part of our family and discussing the distant future (how I was probably going to cry when I walked her down the aisle at her wedding) helped her feel like she truly belonged.

She is nine now and it’s easy to forget how much she’s been through.

She makes friends easily and looks forward to family gatherings where she can hang out with her cousins. I love it too that she often prefers to play a board game after dinner instead of watching something on TV. I’m trying to get in as much daddy-daughter time as I can these days. Those moments only last until the next friend shows up. And although she is starting to get too big for piggyback rides she’ll always be my little girl.

Peter and his wife, Shirley are proud adoptive parents living in the Tri-Cities. They've attended Zawadi and Akoma gatherings. Peter readily admits that he is wrapped around his daughter's little finger and wouldn't have it any other way.