The Chinese passengers of the river-cruise boat sipped their tea and watched as the American couple disregarded their presence and pretended that the moment could last forever. Kellie and I smiled and laughed as the music turned from classical to Spanish and we found that we knew the song.
As we moved across the top of the ship, with my daughter smiling and laughing those incredible baby laughs in my ear… I realized that she would never remember this night. She would have no recollection of sharing her first ever dance with her father and mother in the land of her birth, on the day we celebrate her path to American citizenship.
She wore a pink dress with white printed tights and leather slippers with flowers embroidered on the toes. She held her hands up in the air as she leaned her head back, looking at the sky as we spun. She would peak up to see if I was watching her. When we stopped, she would bob her head from side to side and clap her hands, until we began again. The nanny that cared for her told us that this girl was "crazy and dangerous." Indeed, we stood there amazed at how perfectly she fits into the way we tackle life.
For over an hour we danced across that ship top, reflecting on an incredible past several days. It really seems impossible that we have only held her in our arms for only about a week. She already has been with us forever… I can't imagine what our life was like without her. She may only be 14 months old, but she has been in our hearts for nearly 6 years. It is fulfilling beyond measure to hold her in the moonlight.
There were other adoptive families on board as well, but they did not join in.
I am sure some of them will go home and tell of the crazy couple that spun about the 3rd deck of a moving boat in nighttime air with their infant daughter… probably with some disdain in their voice, but I wish they could have experienced what translated into pure magic for our family on this incredible night.
Sometimes you gotta live life a bit eccentric. Sometimes you just need to recognize the incredible wonder in the moment. Sterling may not remember this night, but we have photos, and you can be sure that we will tell her about how we danced with her tear-sparkled smiles on our faces in the warm moonlight.
I know there will be more dances in her future. Dances where I am sitting up at night awaiting her return... and a dance where she is wearing white and I will once again get to spin her on the floor while others watch while the two of us share a magic moment as if no-one was watching. On that day for sure, I know what I will be whispering in her ear.
I will tell her of this night, and how her mother and I shared her very first dance. And I will tell her to never miss an opportunity to show the world how much you enjoy the ones you love.
She may not remember, but we will never let her forget.