During the adoption process, I had some lurking fears that I would have trouble accepting my daughter as... well... my daughter. Those fears, I am pleased to say, have proved groundless. While I'm still getting used to parenting, I (shall we say?) recognize Caroline as my daughter just as I recognize my mother and father as my parents, Chrystal as my wife, etc. I don't think of myself as her "adoptive" father or her "other" father or her "second" father or even her "real" father, but simply as her father.
I wonder: did the long adoption process help with this mental transition? Did the "paperwork pregnancy" prepare me to accept her just as the father pacing nervously in the waiting room has been prepared by nine months of ultrasounds, doctor visits, weird cravings, etc. to accept the child that will soon be presented to him? Would I feel the same about my daughter if she had been handed over to me after a few days instead of several months? I think not.
Maybe that long wait isn't quite such a bad thing, after all. Some things ARE worth the wait. Very much worth the wait. I also add as an aside that, while I was doing some yard work this morning, she came to the window and smiled and waved at me. That was pretty nice.