It was Christmas Eve night, about 8:00. Jace had just been put to bed, and I was walking by his room. "Tori, if you don't go to sleep soon, Santa won't come!" he warned me. "I know, Jace," I replied, gently closing his door. I sat down in one of the recliners in front of the TV, the Christmas tree emitting warm reds, golds, and greens. I felt a tug at my leg and looked down. Evan kneeled right beneath me, her big, gray-blue eyes pleading with me. I gently hoisted her up onto my lap, holding her close. I heard an upset grunt and some whining. Levi sat on the other side of the room, looking very upset that I had picked up Evan and not him. I rolled my eyes and motioned for him to come over here. He grinned and crawled over, holding up his arms for me to get him. I lifted him onto my other knee, and he flashed me his crowd-pleaser smile. However, when he saw who was taking up the other side of my lap, he brought up his hand and smacked Evan right on the arm. "No, sir," I told him, grabbing his hand. "Be gentle." He smiled again and rubbed the palm of his hand smoothly across her face. "Thank you," I told him. Evan was already starting to nod off. I brushed a strand of her light blonde hair out of her sleepy eyes. A few minutes later Dad took Levi to put him to bed (which he protested very loudly). I gently pulled the sleeping Evan up to my shoulder and carried her into her crib. "Good night, Evan," I whispered, gently kissing her forehead. I laid her carefully down in her crib and covered her with a blanket. "I love you. Merry Christmas."
THAT is my dream life, right there. What's funny is that my dream life is already my life. The only thing missing is Evan. I even had Levi hitting someone in there. What I realized is that, I wouldn't change my life even if I could (with the exception of Evan being home faster, but even that will probably change with time). That's because my life has made me who I am. If all of my siblings hadn't been adopted, I probably wouldn't be so passionate about adoption. If my brother and sister didn't have Down syndrome, I probably wouldn't be offended at all when people use the word "retard." But I am. Because of who my life has made me. So the next time you would want to change your life, remember that if your life hadn't been what it is now, you wouldn't be the same person. You'd be completely different.