this is 18

Just a few hours old.

You know how they say, “it goes so fast”?

I mean, it’s definitely true. It’s probably because the older we get, the faster time seems to fly (remember when your birthday tookan eternityto come back around again?), but still — wejustbrought Alex home from the hospital, and she has the temerity to turn 18 today.

两岁,在我们特立尼达的门廊上。

三岁,因为自己的笑话而大笑。

大概五岁的时候,那时我们经常在老房子的门廊前照镜子自画像。

从一开始就关注我们家的人都知道,马库斯和我选择收养来发展我们的家庭。收养对每个家庭来说显然是不一样的,我从来没有生过孩子,但我觉得有一点对于收养来说是特别的,那就是我绝对没有基因上的自我意识与亚历克斯是谁有关。I mean, obviously, Marcus and I certainly raised her to believe in our family’s values, and there are phrases and particular tics that she’s picked up from each of us (many of them Trinidadian or English,natch), but there are certain characteristics that she has that have nothing to do with Marcus and me, and likely everything to do with nature, as opposed to nurture.

For example, Alex isfunny.她有一个敏捷的智慧,她经常使用完全出乎意料,以最令人愉快的方式。It’s not false modesty to say that she’sway比我和马库斯还有趣。(In fact, I remember when she was about two, I was with my friendMark[who is also Alex’s godfather], and he suddenly turned to me, eyes wide, and said, “Is it weird, or does she seem toreally理解很有趣吗?”我笑着回答说:“我很高兴听到你这么说,因为我一直这么认为,但不知道是不是因为我是一个自豪的母亲。Yes, shedefinitely‘gets’ funny, in a way that’s honestly a little alarming.”)

About 6 years old. Teeth were lost.

About 8 years old. Coming into her own.

Also, she’sreally富有同情心,能够以一种只能成为她的一部分的方式产生共鸣,而且轻松自如,这真的是一个奇迹。I’ve never seen her pityanyone, but instead easily imagines herself in other folks’ shoes, not because she intellectually understands that that’s what a good person is supposed to do, but just becausethat’s who she is.As a result, she’s areallypatient person with other people, a trait which Idefinitelydo not share. (Her father is very patient, but really, Alex is next level.)

Tenth birthday. Double digits!

Twelfth birthday. Getting more difficult to get a photograph without her acting silly.

Sixteenshe got her driver’s license about 5 days later!

Alex也是我们的常驻艺术家——当我们坐着等待大学录取通知书的时候,我们对她的未来充满了兴奋。她是一个伟大的梦想家,这是我喜欢的:当谈到想象她的未来时,她看不到限制。在她看来,没有什么梦想是过于广阔的,也没有什么是白日梦。无论她梦想什么,她知道她只需要找到实现梦想的步骤。I love that

SeventeenSo glad she never outgrew that huge smile.

Anyway

Alex is 18 now, and this is likely the very last of the annual photographs I’ll be sharing on her birthday. I can’t believe it’s been 18 years since we brought her home! (And I know some of you have been following along sincethat very first photo at the top of this post.我无法表达我对你的感激之情因为你一直陪在我们身边,真的。❤️)

Happy birthday, Diva. Your dad and I are so, so proud of you.

Eighteen. So excited to graduate, leave for university and take on the world!

(Still almost impossible to get her to take a photo without goofing off.)