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10.07.2009

Hey, know what?

I love that I always get the same answer from him.

EVERY TIME!

I ask him, "Hey, know what?" and suddenly his little eyes disappear as his entire face is engulfed in his smile and he says (usually at a volume that I'm sure Jesus can hear in Heaven) "Eye uuuh ewe!"

Not a picture of him smiling at me in the "Hey, know what?" game, but showing that same grin...

And then he throws those little arms around my neck and totally molds himself to me. In those moments there is nothing else in the world. I look at how far we've come in the past 12 months (yep, we're nearing the one year mark of Caleb making his impression on our family) and I can hardly believe it.

Because it wasn't always like this.

In the beginning he came to me readily, but it was more of a survival thing. He had been well prepared for the strange looking folks that were coming to meet him and he tolerated us ~ well, me anyway ~ long before he loved us. I can look back at pictures and see how stiff he was back then even though he clung to me while we were out in public in China. It almost breaks my heart to think about the resolve it took that little two year old to make the decision to fake it until you feel it.

And if I'm going to be perfectly honest, I suppose there was a little time of me doing the same thing. I mean, I immediately had those protective instincts to take care of him, but in the first days home when I was tired out of my mind and our house was engulfed in the chaos that only two warring toddlers who are on the wrong time zone can bring, I wondered if we had done the right thing by adding to our family so quickly.

But time and work and the redemptive love of God stepped in. And while it seems like the year has gone by quickly, it also seems like he was always here. Chaos has taken on a whole new meaning in our household, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I know that I know that I know that our lives were meant to intersect as family. I am his mother and he is my son and I love him from the depths of my soul.

And tomorrow he turns three...

17 comments:

Grandma Shultz said...

He does have a smile that just melts your heart. When it is directed at you, you are elevated with joy. What a sensitive, joyful little guy. Our family is so blessed.
I love you, Caleb,
LaoLao

adoptionroad said...

I love this post Kristi! It says it all and I completely agree about the fake it 'till you feel it. Lydia and I have been doing the same thing but I can tell that it's ended for both of us! Hmmm, will the birthday boy's cake be an Elmo?

Jess and Tim said...

Kristi- thank you for your honest and insight! Caleb is one special little boy!

Melissa said...

What a special, meaningful and honest post Kristi! My favorite quote which made me cry was "I am his mother and he is my son and I love him from the depths of my soul." You are an amazing Mommy!
I didn't know tomorrow was Caleb's birthday - oh, I can't wait to send him some birthday wishes tomorrow, and I can't wait to see how you celebrate!

NaiNai said...

That picture is definately going in my "favorites" file. Their smiles are beautiful. And it feels so good when Caleb gives me that bear hug - he is so loving. I love my grandkids so much!!!
Grandma Miller

Rachelle said...

Happy Birthday sweet boy! Your smile is adorable!

a Tonggu Momma said...

We spent the first few years faking it til we made it. I so got this post. Happy birthday to your little guy.

Laurie said...

Well said- the fake it until you feel it part. That is so true. There's not always this instant- I love you as my child feeling. And I cannot believe he'll be 3 tomorrow. Wow! Happy b-day Caleb!!

Lisa said...

Love this post and love your honesty. Your family is such testimony to the redemptive love of God!

We play the "Know what?" game around here too. I even text it to Ryan at Tx.Tech. And it's a fun way to remind them when they are too cool in junior high!

Happy Birthday Caleb!!!!

Tricia said...

Aw, that's sweet. He's such a cute little guy. Can't wait to see you. Jordan made it here safely and played some football with Andrew tonight. :)

Our Journey said...

Beautiful post ... and such a sweet smile. Happy Birthday Caleb!

Nancy said...

Wow, so this is your first birthday with him, right? Happy birthday, little man!!!!! You are so blessed.

Cindy M said...

There is something about that little face. I was not prepared for meeting him, getting to know him and loving his impish little self so much!!! I can't tell you how much I wish we could help celebrate his birthday, but I plan on having a bag of Cheetos or potato chips or something equally unhealthy and of a spoiling nature in my pocket when I see you all NEXT WEEK!

Happy Birthday, Caleb! I find it totally hilarious that your birthday is our anniversary, Kylie's birthday is the day after Abby's and Darcy's birthday IS Abby's! See you soon!

Ally said...

I love this post! Hard to believe it has almost been a year. Happy Birthday Caleb. What a beautiful Blessing:)

Melissa said...

CALEB - Didn't want the day to go by without wishing you a HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY!!! We hope it was wonderful! Love, Melissa, Chris, and Matthew

Glenda said...

Happy Birthday dear Caleb! You have brought so much joy to our little band of kids. We love you!

Kristi,
I see my life right now in the words you spoke. Makes me feel better to read about it and see there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Glenda

Anonymous said...

Yay for Caleb!
Autn Cici