Originally posted February 12, 2019
It’s been 3,650 days since my son was placed in my hands by the 18 year old girl, who carried him in her body for 280 days.
She had planned to keep him. To care for him and raise him. But after only 53 days, she realized the resources, strength, energy and community available to her were not enough. Or at least not in a way that would help him thrive… and she wanted him to thrive.
So she gave him to me.
One woman, a mother - making another woman, a mother.
Looking back over these 3,650 days, I wonder where the wisdom, knowledge, insight and nurturing heart came from.
On day 1, I had never changed a diaper. I had never rocked an inconsolable child, lost in an environment he didn’t know, who longed for the smell of the woman he knew was his own. I had never checked to ensure he was still breathing, every hour, on the hour. Yet, these instincts were never questioned on day 1… or day 2… or day 3… 3,650 days later, I still check to ensure he breathes while he sleeps. Peacefully... soundly... at home in our family, knowing he is loved and cherished.
The first 365 days were spent in the tension between worry and wonder, over adoption finalization. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Wondering if an angry teenage boy would storm into the courtroom demanding a hearing. Day 366 was pure relief… and Day 447 is the day his birth certificate reflected my name.
Many days in between have been fraught with questions. How to meet his needs - how to know what his needs even are. How to understand his moods. How to potty train. How to read. How to complete homework I didn’t know was due. How to get him to eat… anything.
Most days, though, have been filled with wonder. Watching him grow. Watching him learn. Watching him play. Watching him find delight in the smallest of things. Watching him love - me, his dad, his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends… Wonder of all wonders, watching someone else love.
Each new set of 365 days has been celebrated, but the familiar can become common… and sometimes it takes a bigger number to help us see the magnitude of a thing.
3,650 days of gratitude for being a family.
3,650 days of thankful hearts for a healthy boy.
3,650 days of happy giggles, over the silliness of childhood.
3,650 days of the blessings that come when love abounds in a home.
3,650 days of being - Mom.