After weeks working off and on I am nearly done with a Shutterfly book chronicling Penelope’s first two years. We have been blessed to receive nearly two hundred photos of her, starting at roughly two months of age and going up to what we believe is the day before she was in our arms. Some were taken by staff at Shepherd’s Field, some by visitors, and some with the disposable camera’s we sent prior to our arrival. The photos taken at Shepherd’s Field were shot with a Canon EOS. Embedded in the image file are the dates and times the photos were taken. This is why I love technology.
One day she will look through this book. Will she look back at her own visage and see herself and how she has grown? Will she see a stranger, a life so distant and unrelated to what she now knows? In my mind I see her coming home asking to bring the book to school as part of a family tree or show and tell day. It would be so hard to say “yes”. I would be worried about it all day. I would go babbling to Gary and anyone else who would listen about how some young hooligan is going to steal or maim my precious book!
On the other hand I would be thrilled that she remembered it, cared enough about it and her own story to share it with others. I’ve never been much of a person to put myself out there. Too concerned about the potential flak.
Like so many other things I suspect that nothing like the above will happen. It will remain a book on the shelf until she expresses interest. It will be a book that Jenn and I will pull down from time to time in wonder at how Penelope has grown. We may as well create a little pocket in it for tissues.
After all those months, starting on Halloween of 2011, Penelope’s story has started to come together for me. There are dates and places I can put on paper. A timeline complete with images has emerged. I can see the photos taken days before she went to the hospital for surgery and how she looked when she got out weeks later. Jenn and I marvel every time we see those early photos. Is this the same girl they claim was so sick they didn’t know if she was going to make it? Her? Our Penelope?
I can’t say Penelope has made our lives complete. That would not be fair to Jenn, myself, or any other child who may one day join us. Penelope has enlarged our lives. Whatever boundaries we thought our love for another could have were swept away, made to be so distant as to be imperceptible. I know the meaning of overjoyed now. When she sings, or looks at one of us a certain way, or says something adorable.
For all of those who read this thank you for your interest.