Marriages end. Romantic love fades—or at least waxes and wanes. But the first time you hold your child in your arms, you know that you are now joined as one, parent and child, for as long as you live. And, even if that relationship ever grows toxic or estranged, parent and child, you shall remain forever.
For my partner and I, and our family, that moment of no return came when our daughter was over a year old. And how she came into our lives became irrelevant as quickly as we fell irrevocably and madly in love with our ever-fascinating child. Five years on, our lives revolve around screentime limits, non-stop questions, the squishiest hugs, the wisest observations, the funniest jokes, and incessant eye-rolls from the resident six-going-on-sixteen little person in our lives. Meanwhile, the paperwork, the long wait, and the judge pronouncing the order that joined us as a family forever are only distant memories.