Two years ago today the grafting process began once again for our family when we took custody of a chubby toddler.
He had smiled and willingly came to me and I remember, as I signed those papers in the hotel lobby to officially begin our harmonious period, thinking, "Wow, four times and we must be pros at this. This time it is going to be easy."
And he didn't like it. Not one bit...
Hours later, hoarse from sobbing, the tears stopped only when he finally collapsed, totally spent, into his new daddy's arms.
It was a long night filled with many awakenings and renewed crying spells. Yet in the morning, with the first light of dawn, his countenance changed. Suddenly he was happy to see us again.
This cycle of smiles by day, tears by night would repeat itself in the days...and weeks...and months to come. In that time period we'd see the night time spells shrink from hours to partial hours to minutes at a time and decrease in frequency from several to a couple to just one a night. The diminished discomfort at night seemed to directly parallel the extent to which he opened his heart to trust us and...dare we say... even love us, day by day.
Sometime in the past 731days, it happened. Both in our hearts and in his. He became an integral part of the fabric of our family. He simply became part of us.
Was there ever a time when he wasn't part of the M6?
At this point life before he was part of ours is difficult to imagine.
We've all come to love this truck lovin', energetic, pint sized "universe shaker" more than we ever dreamed possible.
And here at two years, it seems fitting that in this past week there have been night time tears again. This time around though, the night tears were different.
I had tucked him in bed after an exhausting day. It was one of those rare evenings that he fell asleep before we finished night time prayers. And so I brushed back his hair, kissed him on the forehead and quietly walked out of his room.
A short time later Ian and I heard a quiet, mournful crying coming from upstairs and identified it to be Daniel. As I stepped toward his bed, his little voice cracked when he quietly called out "Mommy?" in the cool darkness of his room.
"Yes baby, it's Mommy. What's wrong?"
"Mommy, I was crying for you. I need you. Will you sleep me for a little bit?"
And while I had several things on my after the kids go to bed to do list that evening, I laid down beside him on his twin bed and did exactly what he asked. This time, two years later, one of his arms went around my neck and I felt his little fingers twist themselves up in my hair. He quickly calmed down and fell back asleep.
But I stayed for a time and listened to the quiet rhythm of his breathing and took in the smell of chlorine mixed with sunscreen and baby lotion that was him that night. Because I remembered how I longed to be the one to be able to bring him comfort two short years ago...
|his choice...chinese buffet in his chinese silks|