It's been a week since I got back to Austin from Russia. Just one week. It feels like so much longer than that.
I look at my baby's pictures every day. I've watched the video I made of her--20 minutes of watching her and listening to me saying, "Who's the pretty baby...hello sweet girl...hi..."--at least 10 times. I pray for her every night. I pray that someone is looking after her, caring for her, that she's staying healthy and strong and that, on some level, she knows that I'm coming back. One week has gone by which means I'm one week closer to going back to get her. I don't know how I'm going to handle at least five more weeks away from her. This separation and waiting part just sucks.
Christmas has, thankfully, come and gone. I've never been a huge fan of Christmas. It was never a big deal in my family because a) I was on only child so there wasn't a whole lot of hoopla going on and b) since my parents divorced when I was seven, Christmas always seemed to mean trying to figure out which parent I was supposed to be with and who was going to shuttle me where and at what time. Then, a couple of years ago, my father died right before Christmas. And this Christmas was the first without my stepfather. Plus, I'm nearly 6,000 miles away from my sweet baby. So Christmas. Not really very crazy about it.
This year, I went over to my work friend Francesca's apartment for Christmas Eve. She's the only person I know whose kitchen is smaller than mine, but she managed to whoop up one hell of a feast: Dungeness crab with homemade curry aioli, asparagus, horseradish mashed potatoes, an enormous salad, and toast points with triple cream Brie and fig spread. All followed by a slice of Yule Log. Yum. Then we proceeded to drink a LOT of wine and champagne and watch three movies. I ended up crashing there due to my copious consumption of the grape, and waking up with a banging headache at 7:15 am Christmas Day. Went home. Took a shower, brushed the moss off my teeth, and got back into bed. Woke up some time later, and Francesca and I went to see Wes Anderson's latest, "Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" at the Alamo Drafthouse where we soothed our hangovers with mimosas and popcorn.
The only Christmas gift I asked for (and got) was from my Mother: a large silver locket that I put some of The Geej's hair in. (I snipped it off with some fingernail clippers and stashed it in a Ziploc while the orphanage staff weren't looking.) It is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.
As bleak as my Christmas sounds, it was really okay. The weather was beautiful. I didn't have to travel. I didn't spend a lot of money I don't have on gifts for people. But for the rest of you, I hope your holiday was filled with family, great gifts and trouble-free travel. Next year, Christmas is going to rock because my daughter will be here, and it will be all about her.