We are coming up on the one year anniversary of Alina's second court appointment in our adoption process. (The Cliff Notes version of the Latvian adoption process is that a family travels three times- once to meet/bond with the child and return to USA with guardianship of child to be adopted, second trip is to finalize adoption for Latvia, and third trip is to finalize the adoption for the U.S. government.) For our second trip, Alina, my mom, and I traveled together to Latvia and had what can only be described as a wonderful whirlwind of memory making.
On top of our imminent 1 year court anniversary, the hosting program we have been involved with just sent their summer kids back to their home countries. Whether we host or not, I find myself instantly in love with the Lat kids who come over to experience summer with an American family.
But the emotional trifecta is complete with the Olympics. I am an Olympics freak with a party, an Olympic ring cheese ball, red, white, and blue accessories (for everyone - Mark especially loves this aspect of the festivities) and the TV on for 17 days straight. So what do the Olympics have to do with my emotional state of mind?
Because I don't know who to root for.
This is the first Olympics when we have been a multi-country family. As we watched the Opening Ceremony touting the glory of the British culture, Calvin wistfully asked if he was "anything else besides American". Jude immediately pointed out that we were all Latvian-Americans now, and I wholeheartedly agree. While only Alina has official dual citizenship, the rest of our family feels like honorary Latvians. We all use some of the language in our every day life (even at the McDonalds drive thru...awkward), eat the food (Love the potato pancakes. The cold beet soup? Not so much.), and just feel a powerful tie to that little Baltic nation. I took a picture of NBC's brief glimpse of Latvia in the parade of nations at the end of the Opening Ceremony. We have checked to see what events Latvia is competing in. And tonight Latvia and the USA faced off in men's beach volleyball.
Who to cheer for??? What team did we really want to see win???
The very coolest thing is - we couldn't decide. That is how Latvian-American we have become. No one knew quite when to cheer or when to grimace. We just love that country. And the other one.
By the way, Latvia won.