Well, she's home. Finally. My daughter. It is still just a little strange to use that word, but it's getting more familiar.
Let me answer some of the frequently heard comments right off the bat:
- "Hello, dad." Uhhh, hi. Yes, I know I'm a dad. That doesn't freak me out or anything. I'm not frankly sure why people keep saying that with a kind of wink as if they're seeing whether I really remember the existence of my daughter when she isn't around. "Hi...and congratulations!" would be fine, thanks.
- "Well, things are going to be so different for you now, you can't even imagine." Actually, I think I can imagine, thankyouverymuch. I had already imagined the midnight feedings, the exhaustion, the elation, the wonder of seeing the world through my child's eyes, the drool, and the diapers. I did miss foreseeing the cluttered kitchen countertops and the boredom (yes, I'll admit it) of repeatedly entertaining a pre-conversational baby in between feeding and naptime, but I don't think that's what those commenters have in mind.
- "Are you sleeping okay?" Take a guess. I just got back from China where the time difference is approximately one-half a day. As much jetlag as humanly possible on this planet. And let me tell you something: Babies? Don't understand jetlag. Yes, I'm tired...get back to me when it might be reasonable to expect our kid to have a decent schedule.
Uhhhh, sorry about that...had to get that griping out of the way. Some people...sheesh.
But if you're not one of those people...thanks for your good wishes. Even if you don't know me or comment on this blog, I hope you express your good wishes to other people who have just adopted, and I'll consider this a thanks from them. It's a pretty amazing experience. Sometimes excruciating (the wait, especially), sometimes heart-pounding (sitting on the bus waiting to be brought to some bureaucratic office where you're oddly both going to get a baby and have your passport scrutinized), sometimes thrilling (the first time she smiles when you come into the room because she recognizes you).
There's been laughing and crying (happy crying, mostly, on my part and my wife's—hungry crying on the baby's), and my wife and I are very happy to have our daughter and to be done with the whole frustrating adoption process. Now comes the part where we raise a child, which was much more the whole point of this exercise.
Oh, uhhhh math...right. Ummm, here's a good one: pick any cubic polynomial f(x) with 3 real roots; now choose any two of those roots and call them a and b; now find their average v, and locate (v,f(v)) on the graph of the function; draw the tangent line there, and you'll find that it crosses the x-axis at the third root. The uncreative calculus proof isn't very enlightening, but it's easily doable with basic first-year calc. Someone explained it to me better a long time ago in terms of the manipulation of polynomials, but I don't remember the explanation. Feel free to help in the comments.