It’s our son’s 6th birthday today and I can’t help but think about you today. You are always at the forefront of my mind, but on days like today, more so. I want you to know that today, as we celebrate his birth, you are missed. Your presence to see our son grow and mature and smile and laugh and rip open his gifts is missed. I know that sounds corny since I’ve never met you, but the funny thing is, I have. In every facial expression, or mannerism that our son does that I don’t recognize as something taught or learned, I think, “is that from Z?” or “Does Z do that too?” You are forever intertwined into who he is; into our family.
Let me tell you a few things about our boy on his 6th birthday:
He’s a hugger. More times than not, I have to remind him about personal space or asking people if he can give them a hug. He just loves to be near people and show affection.
He’s smart. This kid says some of the funniest things. He is witty and sarcastic—almost to a fault. His vocabulary is out of this world and he loves using big words. Ironically enough, he uses them correctly.
He’s a firecracker. He has more energy than I know what to do with sometimes. While it can get him in to trouble, he just wants to run free all the time!
He loves being barefoot. He could wear flip flops or sandals all year round. But he’d much rather be footloose and fancy free.
He’s a horrible sharer. He really dislikes sharing. Some of that is just being an only child and some of it, I think, stems from worrying that he may never get that toy back.
He loves chili cheese fries from Del Taco. He can’t get enough of them.
He’s a magnet sleeper/cuddler. He has to have his feet wedged up under you if he’s sitting or sleeping next to you. It can be sweet or annoying, depending on what mood you are in.
He’s a charmer. He works his magic with the ladies and loves every second of it. It’s those big eyes and that sweet smile that gets ‘em every time.
He loves to dance. He isn’t great at it, but loves to do it all the same.
He is easily frustrated when things don’t go his way. He’s quick to say, “That’s not fair!” and I gently remind him that life isn’t fair.
He loves to read. We read at night in bed for about 30 minutes and is truly disappointed when he can’t get in as much reading time as he would like.
He’s happy. Truly, truly a happy boy. He smiles more than should be considered legal and just enjoys life in general.
Z, there is so much more that makes up who our son is, but this is just a glimpse. Know that I love you; we love you. Without you, there is no us and I don’t take that lightly. I never will. I pray that our paths will cross and that I can reach out to you and hug you and thank you. I pray that I can share these stories with you in person one day and let you know that you are forever a part of the amazing fabric that makes up our family. I pray that one day, you two will be able to find each other and give each other a hug—he gives great hugs; I promise, you won’t be disappointed. I am sure that you are thinking about our son on this day, his 6th birthday, from 8,840 miles away; there isn’t a doubt in my mind.
November is a big month for our household. People who know me personally, know that the topic of foster care/adoptions isn’t ever far from the conversation. However, this month, be prepared to talk about it a lot. Real talk: kids need families. Kids need love. Kids need stability. Kids need to know they are wanted. Kids just want to know someone loves them, unconditionally. This month, I want you to think about how you can impact the life of a kid—even if it just looking at how we can be better parents to our kids.
Become a mentor? Big Brother/Big Sister? Foster a kid? Sponsor a child through a reputable organization? Tutor in an after school program? Work at a shelter? Volunteer in your community? Take a kid in your kid’s class under your wing? Do a short term mission trip? Donate books? Adopt?
I just want to start the wheels turning in your head about ways to positively impact and add to a child’s life. It isn’t always about adoption—it’s about just letting a kid know you care! Let’s strive to let kid’s know that they matter! Let’s strive to be people to empower them to dream. Let’s endeavor to be there and listen to a child. Let’s encourage them to be more that we are. Let’s work together to create a safe place for kid’s.
Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn’t grow under my heart - but in it!
Got this message from a fellow adoptive mom who I met 3 years ago at an orphanage reunion! Blesses me to get messages like this!
You probably don’t remember me, but I met you at the Toukoul reunion in Portland in 2010 during the hair care class. I had just received our referral. Anyway… I’m watching reruns of one of my favorite shows, LA Ink, on Netflix and up walks this woman to the door. I immediately think, “That woman looks so familiar. Who is that woman? How do I know her?” Next thing I see is a beautiful picture of an adorable little Ethiopian. Ah ha! It took me 1/2 second to realize where I had seen your face. So fun!
And beautiful tattoo!!!
Have a blessed day.
K and I talk about adoption a lot. I try to bring it up often. We talk about his birth mom a lot, so it isn’t a secret about how our family became just that, a family. Clearly, I am not doing a great job at talking to him about it… UGH!!!
K: Mama, you are my favorite Mama!
Me: Thank you Baby! I am glad I am your favorite. You know why?
K: Um… no.
Me: Because when you were a baby, I got on a plane, and went over to Ethiopia to get you. I loved you so much, even before I saw you. I just knew you were going to be my favorite son!!!
K: Mama, is Africa a store where you can buy things? Where you got me?
Me: No Love. What I meant was…
K: So you didn’t get me?
Me: Well yes, I did, but…
K: So is Africa like Target? Where we get things?
Me: Sweetie, you aren’t a thing…and…
K: (cutting me off)… So did you come to Ethiopia to get me?
Me: I… Yes…Of course I did… (stumbling over my words… at a loss for what to say next).
K: Mama, can we read a book?
Me: Of course!!!
*Ready to cry!