written in Russia while finalizing the adoption of our second son.
We are fifteen days into being a family of four and even though you, my two boys, have not yet met face to face I am already thinking about the years of friendship ahead of you. Being 27 months apart in age will most likely assure that you have a love/hate relationship for a while. Your mommy is OK with that.
Matthew, you have already informed me that "we" do not call me "Mama", we call me "Mommy". Alex only knows "Mama", so it will take some time for him to learn to say Mommy. You have also informed me that you do not wish to be the "big brother", but instead have requested that I continue to call you my "Doodlebug". Sure thing, kiddo. You will always be my Doodlebug. Always. And no, I have not yet come up with a nickname for your little brother. Give it time, one will stick.
When you are older you will understand that when a mommy is pregnant with a baby she dreams of who that baby will be. The laws of heredity dictate that the baby will most likely share some traits with the parents, like hair color or shoe size. Because I didn't carry you in my belly but instead carried you both in my heart, I didn't have these specific dreams. I knew you would not look like me. But you do a little- Matthew, you and I both have brown eyes. And Alex, you and I both have brown hair. And I love what is different about each of you, because that is how God made you. I wouldn't change a thing!
They say that you have the children you are meant to have, and I believe that. After only a few days together, your love of music, both of you, began to emerge. God knows that I can nourish that love and gave you to me.
You have taught me so much, already. I have learned that it is OK for the kitchen floor to be a little messy, especially after meals. I have learned, from both of you, what signs to watch for so I can catch you before you decide you are done eating and throw your food on the floor. And no, Matthew, you don't do that anymore. But you did, when you were a baby. Just like your brother does now.
Your brother! I am so happy that you will have each other as you grown into men. Both of you most likely have biological siblings you will never know, so your bond as brothers is even more important. I promise you that I will teach you both to cherish that bond and help it grow.
I promise that as the mother of two very active boys I will give you each the time and attention you need. Matthew, when you need me to stop making dinner and watch your favorite TV show with you, I will try. When you have lined up your matchbox cars and need me to referee the big race, I will. And Alex, when you need to be held for what feels like hours before you fall asleep, I will be there.
I promise to sit in the thinking chair in your room, Matthew Zhao, and sing songs before bed. I promise to stay by your crib, Alex, until you fall asleep, for as long as you need after we get home, so that you never feel abandoned.
I promise that no one is ever going to leave the two of you again.
One day, when you are older and we are talking about our separate journeys to you, you will learn that everyone tells me how lucky my sons are. And you are, in a way. You are not being raised in an orphanage. You are healthy, now. You have enough food to eat, now. You have the love and attention of a family of your own, now. But truth be told, boys, I am the lucky one. And I will always remember how very lucky I am.