Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What Saves Me

I've written before about my sweet boy's amazing morning smile.  I've been trying to capture a picture of his uber early morning cuteness and well, it shouldn't surprise you that he turns into Mr. Growly Face when he sees my phone in my hand (does anyone use their camera anymore?).

It is usually mid-afternoon when my patience begins to run thin.  The removal of his left coil has occurred 8,438 times.  He's tired, I'm tired.  We're a mess. We somehow make it to and through dinner.  We move on to bathtime, which always brings a huge grin and rapid signing of the word "bath".  Bedtime follows, with the hugging of the greatest.pillow.ever and the tossing of his lavender-scented stuffed labrador out of his bed.  

Bedtime brings much needed rest to my little man and moments of peace for me.  It is the only time of day when I am too tired to think.  My mind shuts off, for the most part, and I do my best to stay awake until a non-ridiculously early time for bed.  Some nights I sleep well, some nights not so well.  I never know what the night will look like.  Gone are the days, er nights of sleeping through the night.  And yes, I have slept through the night since I became a mother.  Night-time is my time. Whether I'm out with the hubs at a movie, with a friend, doing homework, laying on the chaise with the laptop, or sleeping, its my time. 

When morning arrives, I open AJ's door and find this smiley, happy little boy.  Its like Christmas every morning.  And I sure do love my present. He is sooooo excited to see me! If he could talk I'd imagine he'd say things like "Mommmmmmmmmmy!" or I don't know, something else in a really excited voice.  It is by far, my favorite part of the day.   It rejuvenates my soul to start the day and get my little man up and at 'em.  I forget about yesterday's lack of patience.  I don't think about therapies, or splints, or spasticity, or communication modes, or calories.  I think about nothing and enjoy my son's amazing smile.

We recently took a weekend trip to a cottage up north.  While I intend to write a whole blog post about that trip, a special moment occurred the last morning at the lake.  We shared a room with AJ, which had a full bed and twin bed.  We heard him get up and did the whole "pretend we're sleeping gig".  That lasted all of one minute, when I had to pop up and peek at him.  He saw me and crawled off his bed.  I was sure he'd walk to the door.  Instead, he wandered to the side of our bed and climbed up and over his Daddy.  He cuddled with us.  For us few minutes.  And it was amazing.  This was the child who took years to warm up to just our bedroom, much less our bed.  He has never cuddled, in bed.  Ever.  It was a sweet, sweet moment for both of us.  Another gift we've been waiting a long time for.  

So, while I'm a little sad I wasn't able to get a picture of his morning routine of cuteness, part of me honestly doesn't feel like sharing it.  It is something that happens between my little man and I every morning.  So many mornings I woke up to an empty crib, filled with heartache.   And no, I don't think about those days anymore.

But I am so blessed to see his amazing morning smile.  Every day. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Those Eyes

This past weekend I had the awesome opportunity to hold babies.  Yes, little peoples.  With gorgeous big eye balls, silly smiles, and cute little dimples galore.

Four days later, my heart is aching.  I'm sure it has something to do with this video that someone posted a few days ago.  Anything with adoption pulls at my heartstrings, but this one really got to me.

One of the hardest things I experienced with AJ's adoption was visiting the orphange.  All of these big eyeballs and smiling faces excitedly shouting, "Hola! Hola!" as we walked in the back door.  When the door opened to the front of the orphange, out to the courtyard (surrounded by a high brick wall and barbed wire) AKA the playground, older children bombarded us with "Hola! Hola! Hola!".  The look in their eyes was something I had never, ever experienced.  "Are you going to be my Mom?" My own mom wanted to load them all in a shopping cart and jump on the plane.  I was right there with her.

Knowing that my son would not be alive today if our adoption case had gone a month or so longer does not cross my mind often. Simply because it was not his reality.  But it does make me grieve for his brother.

At some point in the last few years I wrote a post about AJ's biological brother. Jose was brought to the same orphanage when he was 6 months old.  Their birthmother brought him in when she could no longer feed him.  This, despite the fact adoptions ceased in Guatemala six months earlier.  I haven't thought about Jose in quite a while, again, because he wasn't our reality.  At the time we were told about him, it felt like a cruel joke.  Knowing adoptions were closed and that he was literally "stuck" with no place to go.  But looking back, knowing he was never a possibility made it somewhat easier to draw that line. To unattach ourselves from the possibility that was...impossible.

A few weeks ago one of our neighbor's son was outside.  I turned around and saw the son and his little friend peaking over the fence at me.  "Hola!" they shouted, as their big brown eyeballs stared back at me.  I had a strange flash of what could have been...AJ and Jose together.  I have never had this thought before.  Honestly.  But the sudden presence of Jose in my mind completely caught me off guard.  He's been on my mind since.  I have no idea where he is.  I doubt the orphanage is still open, since the owner was arrested on bogus charges.  If he is alive, I hope that he is well cared for.  If he is no longer with us, I hope that he has found peace and love in God's arms.  It kills me to know we could have given him a life of love and a life with his brother.  Wait-no we couldn't have.

My heart aches for another child.  No decision seems absolutely correct. None are easy.  Which makes it all the more troubling.  Holding babies fills my heart with so much warmth.  Don't misunderstand me to be some 16 year old who things that having a baby is all fun and games.  Y'all should know me better than that.  But the yearning keeps growing stronger and I don't know where to go with it.

My mother-in-law once told me that there is never a perfect time to have a child.  You are never totally ready.  It is true that some people wait until after school, until after their career has reached a certain level, until they have enough money, or a big enough house.  We weren't one of these people when we set out to become parents.  It may come as no surprise that many have discouraged us from having more children due to AJ and all of his whoo-ha.   Discouraged us from pursuing careers and countless other ambitions.  I haven't known Jeremy and I to take the easy route anywhere.  While we've wished for the easy route, it still hasn't come.  I think we've begun to accept that this is our reality.  Why should AJ's disabilities discourage us from having another child?  I mean, besides the instant "gasp!" that enters your mind when you think of it, look past that.  It wouldn't be so bad peeps.

It took me a few years to understand what "Oh gosh, and he's your first," meant.  I know understand it. Completely.  We don't know any different.

As I was driving the other day, I decided on a girl's middle name.  Which is further than we've ever gotten in the world of girls names.  We've never been able to decide on a first name.  But I know that if we ever have a girl, she'll have the perfect middle name.  This epiphany lead to more tears (I should be banned from driving long distances) as I thought of the babies I held over the weekend, AJ, and Jose.  Having an impact on a child's life has brought me more joy than I could have ever of dreamed possible.  I love being AJ's Mom.

I'd love to be a Mom again.

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