October 27, 2008


I've never in my life been more sensitive to the changing of months. The only possible comparison would be from back when I was teaching and April rolled around and everyone starting counting down the days until summer. But still, I've just never been so in tune with the passing of each and every month. We first saw him at 11 months, met him at 13 months, then counted and celebrated every month since. And next week - in 9 days - he will turn 18 months. One and a half years. And my heart stops each and every time I think about it.

I imagine this milestone is hitting me particularly pointedly because it's the first "age of notice" that he'll reach while in our arms. And also the first "age of notice" that he'll reach while not in his birth mother's arms. Which I'm just guessing is playing a pretty big role in my reaction to this milestone. Our son was fortunate to experience his birth mother's love and embrace for the first 11 months of his life. 11 months that I do actually look forward to dreaming about with him, albeit with the obvious challenges, my son will know how much his birth mother loved him. 11 months of learning to look and search and sit up and pull up and roll over and grab and so many other things. 11 months that I'm so thankful he was able to experience with his birth mother. But then come the following months, that of his relinquishment, his months in the orphanage, and then the frightening months of being introduced to an entirely new culture new look new smell new EVERYTHING that followed.

I'm in absolute awe of our son's ability to transition while still seeming to remain whole. I say whole because I really truly do believe that there have been times when we've shared glances that have said, "I get it. I love you, but I get it." Clearly I'm not expecting my almost 18 month old to understand and internalize the concept of international adoption, yet his looks and feels and day to day interactions absolutely reflect that fact that he gets it more than the rest of us.

We weren't there to witness his first attempt at sitting up or rolling over, and I don't know which of his teeth were the first to poke through. Hell, I don't even know where most of his facial expressions and sounds came from. But I count myself lucky to know that all of these things came from somewhere that I can one day tell my son all about - how he learned these things from a family that loved him so much. So much. And it's my internal hope that he'll then know how much he is loved, and how welcome he is to loving each and every month of his life - here in the US, in Ethiopia where we will travel with him in the next 5 years, and across the globe where we hope he values each and every month.

Because they're all just that cool.


Julie said...


stephanie said...

Ah, do you get paid for writing? Cuz if you don't, you really should. Bravo.

Already planning your return trip? I'm so there with you.

Barbara said...

if you travel a little sooner, i'll travel with you...