Monday

I bought this hat the year before we adopted Q, as an anniversary present for my husband. At that point, we were so deep and long into the process of the paperwork, the red tape, the payments, the classes, the fingerprinting, the police checks, the endless imaginings, that everything we gave one another at every holiday and important occasion was something for her. Christmas, Valentine's Day, birthdays....all the presents were for her, through eachother. We gave eachother children's books, toys, tiny items of clothing, whatever small things we could afford while taking on the expensive endeavour of an international adoption.

At the time, we were maybe a year and a half into the actual adoption process, but we still had no idea what age our child would be when we finally met her, much less what sort of person she would be, what region of China she would hail from, or what she would look like. I remember pulling the hat out of its bag and setting it on the rustic wood-block table at Domo, the beautiful and painfully-authentic Japanese restaurant where we celebrated our anniversary that year, along with my mum, who was visiting that week from her home in Woodstock. I remember thinking how my husband would enjoy imagining our daughter in this hat ( I had also bought a faux-vintage t-shirt with a tattoo-style heart and the legend "daddy" inscribed over the chest), and I remember wondering for the bazillionth time what she would look like, who she would be.
When we did finally bring her home from China, she was very small for her age (only 14 lbs at almost a year old, probably largely do to the rollicking case of intestinal parasites she was carrying, in addition to the limited food supply that her orphanage, with their scarce means, was able to offer her). That first winter, she was nowhere near big enough to wear this hat. In the past few months, however, she has grown at an astounding rate...nearly an inch per month. Recently, while culling some of the clothes she has lately outgrown, I came across this hat again.
It's such a cool hat...I mean, am I wrong? This is a cool hat. So even though we're heading into the heat of summer (any day now, should it decide to stop hailing and whipping up tornadoes) I had to pull it out and give it a run. (That's my adopted Queensland Blue Heeler Sam, btw. I have had Sam for nearly a decade now. Sam is very spoiled. He sleeps under the duvet in our bed. He eats coffee cake when I go out for coffee. He knows more words than I do. He looks out for all of our vices. He is a very concerned little dog.)
At any rate, the hat certainly fits her now...I'd even say she does it credit. And...bonus! She liked it enough to wear it for an extended period of time, on a warm day, without whipping it off her head and throwing it to the ground (her usual reaction to a hat once she's done admiring herself in the mirror for a few seconds).
I don't know what it was about this hat that she liked. I don't know why she felt comfortable enough to wear it around for the afternoon, but I am grateful...
...because, really, did you ever see anything better than the Q in her white vintage nightshirt with the fur aviator hat on top?
This is Fred, btw. He's a basset hound. And...he's a basset hound.
Q's feet still aren't quite long enough to reach the pedals on this old-school trike, but she has ambitions. In the meantime, mommy still needs to push her around the patio, making dorky "brrrrrrr-pth-pth-brrrrrrrrrrrr!" sounds as she goes.
Fred helps. Well, he doesn't help. But he wants to help. At least, that's what he tells himself.

19 comments:

Jeanne-ming said...

I love the hat! I imagine Q loves it because it is soft and to wear it feels like you are swaddled.
She is adorable and even in the brief months I have followed her on your blog, I can tell she is growing and filling out.

Geisslein said...

The hat is really cool - love it!
And Q looks faboulous in it and this cute night dress - but she looks faboulous in everything,you have so right ;o) She is really a beautiful girl - and btw. the dogs are cool too! Have a great day!

Charlie said...

I love the hat and it suits her perfectly! I love hearing about your journey and watching her grow. I love that you only exchanged gifts that were meant for her when she arrived. That is just beautiful. I send you hugs, cause I have to go get a tissue.

Yoli said...

I have a similar hat for Sally but it is a little more wild, I call it her Mongolian hat. I also remember dreaming of what kind of person she would be. Girl I found every excuse in the book to buy something for her.

When I first saw Q in that dress and hat I was floored. She looks dreamy, beautiful and out of fairy book. You can almost dream up a story around that image. I hope you find the time to sketch her.

I love the rug you have painted on the floor. You are talented girl, beyond measure.

Merisi said...

Such a beautiful tale! I love all the images, but the one before the last, with you and your little treasure in hat and gown, that is simply so lovely, it warmed my heart too.

jen laceda said...

I enjoy reading your life chronicles! What a lovely family (and dog) you have!

Anna said...

i love the pictures with Q and Fred!!! bassets are my favorite!

An Carol said...

This HAT it especially and so cute !! if i have a child i will buy it too . like this .... but i thought not the every child it fit . However this perfect !! so shine her hat .

Maggie May said...

love the outdoor rug
and your daughter has a beautiful face

MODsquad said...

Darling photos! Lovely words!

Anne said...

I absolutely love this look ! And what a great story !
It is very nice to see that she is cherishing her hat as much as you had cherished it while you were waiting for her.
How about the tricycle ? Is it a Radio Flyer ?

FDChief said...

Debra and I saw the earlier picture of Q and her furry bonnet and decided that it was from the "Lizzie Bennett meets Genghis Khan Collection" - a sort of steppe-Regency look. It sure does look soft and cuddly. Glad she likes it.

Don't know how you manage to look so adorable, the both of you. She must get it from your side of the family...

jimena said...

lovely! all of you!
lovely family !

Snowflowers Mum said...

the girl can wear a hat, thats for sure. She has an air about her, but you know that!

I think she is amusing her mother beyond repair!

Evelyne said...

Petite j'avais aussi un chapeau fourré que je traînais partout même en été....ta fille commence à te ressembler dans l'expression du visage...imitation le maître mots de 0 à 7 ans..

a mouse said...

oooohhhhh my sooooooo cute!!
xoxo

TheBeautyFile said...

oh, she is so gorgeous in that hat! love your dog too! cute cute cute!

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

She IS growing, but only in height! She has stayed the same weight for many months now, in spite of how much she eats (which is a lot!)

Yoli, I wish I could take credit for that outdoor rug, but I didnt'paint it...I don't have that kind of time these days, sadly!

Anne - the tricycle is a (very)vintage one that I snagged for $15 on a sale day at a local antique shop...I was so excited! It's very sturdy and will serve her well when she is finally big enough to reach the pedals!

Evelyne, she does imitate us - our expressions and gestures, definitely! However, she is much more beautiful than either of us, and we can't take credit for those looks!

THanks everyone for the lovely comments! You all warm my heart!! OOXX

akka b. said...

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH - for sharing your story! A beautiful inspiration, a beautiful family.

Talk about Love going to all the right places.