Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Happy Family Day!

Six years ago today we met you,  our amazing oldest son. In a glaringly modern room full of black and red patterned furniture and overstuffed pillows you toddled in, over an hour late. Just like so many other times in those first 15 months of your life you had an obstacle to overcome that day. A flat tire on the bus bringing you to us. Not your first obstacle, and certainly not your last.

As we wandered around Shamian Island in Guangzhou with you strapped to my hip we were stopped countless times by interested locals, often overstepping our "American" boundaries of personal space. "A boy! You are lucky!". Yes, yes we were lucky, and we still are.

Once back on American soil that lucky sentiment became somewhat mangled. "He is SO lucky!", we heard all the time. No, he's healthy. He's loved. He's happy, we think. If you must assign luck, assign it to us, please. Americans, always thinking that our way is the best way.

Now that you are a strapping and active seven year old, we don't hear those lucky sentiments very often anymore. And, thankfully, we don't hear the invasive adoption questions much anymore either. We do hear questions about your relationship to your brother, but that is a story for another day.

Until your little brother joined our family we really didn't fully understand the loss of adoption. We do now. You have lost so much. You are starting to ask questions, questions that we can only speculate the answers to. Questions that probably will never be answered, not to your satisfaction, at least.

Did my birth mother love me like you do?

Where was I was found?

Why? Why? Why?

You are seven and just beginning to question. As you get older I know you will have more questions. Sadly, I won't have any more answers. So bear with me, sweetheart.

And in the meantime, I will love you, support you, give you every opportunity I can. And in return, you will continue to give me so much.

Your tight hugs. Your bright crooked smiles. Your wild dreams and engineering mind. Your thirst for knowledge. Your entrepreneural attitude. You have one foot in the world of big kids, with your football and your desire to go off and explore the world. And one foot still in your early childhood, with 15 stuffed animals on your bed and your fright of loud noises.

You are just the best big brother, getting your little sibling to listen, play, calm down. The patience you show with him is astounding. You are a teacher. A leader. A role model. I can't wait to see where this crazy life of ours takes us!

Six years ago I sat on a very hard brightly colored sofa, waiting for you to arrive. My Guangzhou delivery room. You were late to arrive, as so many babies are. You took my finger and held on tight. And I pray that you never let it go.

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