Monday, November 16, 2009

Last week my mother was over helping out. It wasn’t even 7 pm, but we were all spent and piled on one end of the couch. Duc lay between us, his head in my lap and his feet in her’s. We began to have a conversation that we have had several times before in a number of different variations. Usually it begins wih “can you believe this almost didn’t happened?” with a knowing look in Duc’s direction. No, I can’t imagine never knowing or loving him I often say. My life was good before. I really didn’t feel anything was missing. Until I met him.

This time the conversation began from her perspective. “I would have been ok with not having children or grandchildren. I wouldn’t have known what I was missing. But after you girls arrived and the grandchildren arrived…well, I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

She continued, “Your life was fine before Duc, but look at how much joy he has brought this family. He is such a happy, cheerful child. He hasn’t had any attachment issues so far, he bonded easily and quickly with you and is such a joy to be around. I wonder if the other families we traveled with feel the same way we do. I sure hope so.”

As she spoke my eyes teared up and when I opened my mouth to speak my voice cracked with emotion. I began blubbering huge achy tears as I told her that I am grateful to be his mother every single day. He has made me that happy. Even on the days where I feel extremely challenged I still go to bed grateful that I got to be the one he challenged.

I think about how close I came to not being his mother—both the extrinsic and intrinsic factors that almost lead to…well, not this. I thought about how afraid I was to become a mother, especially a single mother, and especially to a son whose gender feels so foreign from my own. I thought about all the external obstacles—money and delays with my dossier. And I thought of the biggest obstacle of all—my faith. Struggling with how I could believe I would receive a referral when so many others had been waiting far longer than I had. I am a big fan of fair and making things as fair as possible and this wasn’t fair. Knowing the day my son was born and where, but marching ever closer to September without knowing if our match would ever come to fruition. 066 copy copy

When I heard other parents say it, I never understood how the love could grow deeper and more intensely the longer you mothered your child. I thought love was just love, until I met Duc. I finally understood that my love for him is like a well watered plant. It grows bigger and the roots spread further and deeper with each passing day and week.

Perhaps it is for all these reasons that I find my heart seizing up as I try to picture my life without Duc. Before meeting him it would have been infinitely easier, but now? For me, knowing him for one day was to love him the rest of my days.

I hope I never have to live a day without him in my life. The very thought causes such intense feelings of grief and anxiety I can hardly stand to consider what my life would be like. Maybe that’s because the events that lead to our family were such traumatic times, for both of us. Or perhaps it is a reflection on my own childhood and all the early losses or near losses I suffered. Or, maybe it is simply being a mother. Perhaps my feelings are like so many unspoken rules of motherhood and until you get your entrance ticket stamped you can never understand.

So, I hold my baby every chance I get. Since he has been sick he has been falling asleep much earlier in the evening than he normally does. I’ve carried him in from the car asleep, picked him up off my feet or his blankey a sleep. Instead of putting him down in bed and getting on with my evening, I hold him. I watch his little face relax in a mask of sleep and I savor every minute.


Snowflowers Mum November 16, 2009 at 7:30 PM  

beautifully said, and I feel the same way, because in the world of 'adoption' so many things are not set in day later with the dossier? what if my file had been on someone elses desk? It makes me shake just to think what would have happened if we weren't matched together.

Jennifer G. November 16, 2009 at 10:21 PM  

I know exactly what you mean about having thoughs of not having our child in our life. Just this morning, I saw some odd looking guys in vans near our daycare and wondered what was going on, and my imagination ran wild to kidnappings, etc. Then I started thinking about the parents whose children have been abducted and are missing, and how that truly must be the most terrible thing to ever have to go through -- it's heart-breaking to think about what they go through, and i'm not sure I could maintain my sanity.

Jennifer G.

Kelli November 17, 2009 at 6:40 PM  

Hmmm...sounds like we are having very similar thoughts :). Must be the time of year! Beautiful post- I can completely relate.

Michele November 18, 2009 at 7:10 AM  

I can totally relate to every single word and feeling you are having. I could not now life my life without my son. It wouldn't be living, it would be just existing.

And yes the love continues to grow every single day. I am happier than I have ever been before and I never want this feeling to go away.

Nora and Brad McMillan November 19, 2009 at 3:43 PM  

Well said Erica!


About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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