But do they accept the baby?

New dress made by her personal stylist

After my daughter was born, we had to wait six months until her adoption could be finalized in court. During that six-month period, we were required to complete several follow-up visits with the social worker from the adoption agency.

At one of those visits, the social worker came to our home and perched on the couch. I sat on the floor with the baby as she rolled around and played on a blanket. The social worker flipped through a file folder and asked me some random questions. The one that sticks in my mind the most was: "Does your family accept the baby?" I almost laughed out loud but bit my lip instead. It seems a ridiculous thing to ask but yet, I know there are people out there who cannot accept someone who does not share their DNA.

Fast forward four years to June 2009. A and I noticed a box on our front porch as we pulled into the driveway on Thursday. A few minutes later, she hopped out of the van and ran full speed towards the front door. She squatted over the box and flipped it over. "It has my name on it!" she squealed. I recognized my mother's handwriting on the label.

The box contained a handmade dress (one of many, many ensembles my mother has made for her curly-haired granddaughter over the past four years), a nightgown we had sent my mom to repair (the seam "broked all by itself"), and two hardback books that Meemaw had picked up at the store.

Does my family accept the baby? How to explain that not only does my family adore "the baby," but . . . most days I am pretty sure they (and even many of my friends) actually like her better than me? (It's okay - I am pretty irritating). Sometimes my mom or my sisters will call and if I answer the phone, they will just ask to speak to my daughter directly. They send her fabulous gifts for her birthday and for Christmas. They hop a flight to visit her whenever they can. My mom is convinced that A somehow got her curly hair from her. We talk about how A bosses other children around like my middle sister always did when she was a kid.

Accept the baby? Well, just barely.