I open the door to the bedroom and he looks at me with deep, delicious, chocolate eyes. "Good morning," I whisper. "I love you."
"I wub ew!" comes the response from the curly topped boy in the crib that we just converted into a bed. Every morning he wants to snuggle just until he realizes that his big brother is playing in the other room. He is his brother's boy, his daddy's boy but always and (sometimes I fear) forever a mama's boy. He is highly emotional--as though he is, perhaps, a teenage girl at heart. The highs are high. Hysterical laughter, ear splitting squeals, excited babbling and expressive finger pointing. The lows are loud. Sobbing, blubbering, unintelligible and slobbery moans. But the lows are getting better. Lesser. Fewer. His toothy smile and outrageous laugh melt all our hearts. His obsession with showing off his tummy and his hilarious "dirty look" keep smiles on our faces. The back of his neck, bending as he pours over a book, pulls me like a magnet and it is impossible not to rush to him and kiss the nape at least a dozen times. He's a garbage disposal--eating almost anything that is put in front of him with wild abandon. He's a ham--figuratively, of course. He's infatuated with shoes, monkeys, guitars, drum sticks, ice, anything his brother has, toothbrushes and dogs. He can out dance the three of us put together and is ridiculously strong. He is an amazing blessing.
I am so thankful for the past year with my second son.
One year ago today, Matthew's father agreed to the adoption. (Which was finalized a week later, on April 21). A heavy burden was lifted from my shoulders. Truthfully, it took months to lift entirely but steadily, breathing became easier, life reached a new normal and our family relaxed. I have not forgotten the fear of losing my baby and it permeates my parenting. I have not forgotten that He alone has done great things. I have not forgotten the journey. And I tell Matthew, with regularity, that his Mother and Father love him so much and selflessly gave us the incredible gift of raising him.
I dropped a check in the mail today. It was written for 5,800 dollars. Our adoption debt is gone. Our Lord has provided in miraculous ways. The remaining debt was paid by our tax return. The fact that today, exactly one year later, we've paid our bills in full is incredible. Our adoption totaled about 38,500 dollars. Just over half of that was donated by friends, family members, friends of friends, and people we've never even met.
I serve a mighty God!
If you have donated, whether 20 dollars or 4,000 dollars (that's right--a friend of ours donated over 10% of our adoption costs), we thank you. If you have prayed, whether once or daily, we thank you. If you have partnered with us in bringing Matthew into our family, we thank you.
A certain two-year-old just wandered down the stairs with a drum stick in his hand. He smiled and babbled something I couldn't quite make out. Then he crawled up next to me. "Do you have a poop?" I asked him after the smell hit my nose.
"Yes!" He said emphatically.
"Go get a diaper and give it to daddy," I whispered.
A new normal. Free of adoption debt.