phoenix rising, Uncategorized

memories of tal

“Mama loves you” I whispered. And he lifted his head off my shoulder whipped it around, and planted a big one on me. Baby kisses are terribly sweet. And very slobbery. And his have totally stolen my heart.

Feisty & Affectionate. Those two words describe so much of who this kid is. This amazing, perfect kid.

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He was pretty reserved with his smiles in the early days of being with us. I would have been too. Leaving everything you know is scary for an adult much less a kid who doesn’t know, and has no say about, what is happening. But from the beginning he has had opinions that are all his own and isn’t afraid to share them. I love that. I love that he has big, loud, opinions and he feels comfortable sharing those with the world.

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I wrote this to him a bit ago: “One of your most strongly held convictions is that you should never.be.put.down. Okay, I’m exaggerating. You actually love playing with toys and will play quite a bit by yourself. But when you want, no DESERVE to be held, well then heaven help us if we don’t. You have the cutest little outraged cry I have ever heard. You get held a lot just so you know. But not enough apparently as you let US know.”

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He loves doing uggamugga (rubbing noses), but isn’t so much into the actual nose touching because apparently the shaking head part is just way more fun. About two days after we got to Seattle he started copying us and then a day or so after that we could just say uggamugga and he would get this big goofy grin on his face and shake his head. Much to my shock he immediately starting reaching for us and crawling to us as well. That was pretty special and unexpected.

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When I look back to this last month and a few weeks I think that’s what I’ll remember the most: the way he just loves. The way he is open to love. The way he now tries to get out of going to sleep by giving me a million kisses. The way he stops halfway through a bottle to have a five minute chat with us, just because. How he says “mom mama” and knows that means me. How he says “dada” when he hears Nate’s voice on the phone. How quiet he will sit listening to Nate read a book to the two boys sitting on his knees. How he sees me across the room and will crawl his fastest crawl grinning the whole time to get to me. The day he and Thane were on the couch looking out the window and then he started to wave his arms and make his happy squeals and I realized he was seeing his daddy coming home from work. Baby love is awfully sweet.

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{{pictures taken 3/16/2013}}

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adoption, family age, gushing, phoenix rising

one month together

He’s really here.

I have remind myself of that a few times a day. I’ll have him on my lap, cuddling his little body in my arms and it will hit me: this is real, we’re together. It happened. During the process of waiting I held a duel reality in my head and in my heart: he’s mine, he might never be mine. Loving without knowing is a different kind of love. It’s a deep, pounding, fight-to-the-end kind of love that doesn’t let go. It’s almost desperate in a way, this feeling of wanting and yet knowing you might never have. Please let him have a family. That was my constant wish. And now he has one. Ours. We’re family. A family rising out of the ashes. It’s another duel reality I hold: he’s my son, he’s another’s son.  I struggle not with guilt but with an awareness of the unfairness of this world of ours. Broken hallelujahs.

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And now it’s been a month of getting to know him. A grand, glorious month of more baby kisses than I imagined possible to cram into that time. Of simple moments of splendor as his personality unfolds, as he lets us get to know him more and more. You watch your baby grow up in pictures and you cling to each slight expression change captured in them, trying to read some personality trait, some meaning into them. And then suddenly the child is real, three-dimensional and complete. It’s like stepping into a painting, it’s an overload of input. I feel quite panicked at times that time is slipping away so fast. We missed so much of his life and now I want time to just stand still for a while and let us catch up on everything we missed.

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It’s good in a way though, to have that ache of missing those moments. They’re a reminder to see him as an individual, as someone with his own feelings and history and strengths. To look at this adoption story from his side of it, not just from ours. Because his is very different from ours. The day our family was complete was also the day he left everything he’d known for so long. The day my heart felt complete again was the day his lost his beloved foster family. He both came home and left home. Another duel reality to hold. I feel so grateful to his foster family. There are no words to say how much.

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To watch him open himself up to our love amazes me. To watch his shyness give way to oh-I-know-you feels like magic. It reminds me of watching mom make the whipping cream at Thanksgiving, watching the blender spin round and round and round and it seems that nothing is changing, then suddenly instead of liquid sloshing there’s peaks and valleys of sugary goodness. Magic. I pick him out of his crib after each nap and bedtime and suddenly his look is one of relief and recognition instead of confusion and surprise. Like his heart is whispering “oh it’s you, I know you.” And I whisper back “yes it’s me, it will always be me, and someday you’ll know that.”

This isn’t the post I meant to write today. I meant to write about his personality, his feisty and affectionate little self. How good he is at crawling now and how he gives kisses and then flashes this little look at that says “aren’t I clever to make you go all googoogaga  over me?” But I guess I just can’t get past the reality and amazement that he’s here. He’s really here.

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