My baby is 10.5, 5th grade, and for now, all things are moving smoothly for her. She constantly amazes me with her poise, wit, and musical ability. She can write the most amazing stories full of evocative prose, interesting characters, and hand-drawn illustrations. She seems to be comfortable with her adoption story for now--she has a warm and loving relationship with her first father, and a perplexed yet accepting understanding of her first mom's abscence. Braces, impending puberty, and all the social interactions that are supposed to define a girl this age are in full swing. She's amazing and I can't imagine my life without her as my daughter.
And here the focus changes. Just as I can't imagine my life without my daughter, I can't imagine my life without my mom, either. But that is what I'm going to have to do. Last week, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. We have yet to learn stage, exact type, prognosis, treatment or palliative plan, or anything, but reality says it's going to be a long, painful year--if we're lucky enough to have a year.