Six years ago today I met K for the very first time. She was 14 months old.
Two months prior I had seen a few snapshots taken of her when she was about 9 months old. A pudgy little baby with a scowl. A month later another photo arrived – this one appeared to show a strapping three year old with a newly shaved head wearing a psychedelic vest, pajama pants and the cutest bare feet ever. I freaked a little that my one year old had suddenly turned three!
And there I was in a hot room in a government building in Guangzhou, China, meeting my daughter for the first time. She howled when she looked at me, and stopped when she looked around the room. She was also wearing 6-9 month size clothing so was still a one year old baby (the “three year old” picture was just perspective). I can remember feeling faint with expectation waiting for her to arrive, then otherworldly as I held her and tried to get a good look at her. The early photos and video of her show absolutely no hint of the personality that would emerge. She was shy and clingy, and decided within 24 hours that I was the only one she wanted. I even had to take her into the bathroom with me.
Fast forward six years – yes, it seems like the blink of an eye NOW, but day-to-day it felt like forever – and K is one of the most outgoing, exuberant, funny, social little girls you’d ever want to meet. She can still be clingy and whiny, but I never would have guessed I’d have a real extrovert on my hands six years ago.
I bet the next six go even faster.