Here we are nearly 17 months as a family of five and I honestly can’t believe how much we have all changed. Let me give you a few glimpses into our transition…
Glimpse #1: Going to get ice cream can turn into a conversation about birth moms. Well, at least that is what happened on our car ride to our favorite local creamery. Here is how it all played out…
“I’m just so happy!” Ian shouted from the back seat on the way home from Caitlin’s baseball game.
“Me, too!” I responded as I drove along thinking about how it was almost Friday and that I had nearly made it to the weekend.
With even more excitement, Ian shouted, “I’m so happy, I want to see my birth mom!”
My mouth dropped and I looked in the review mirror to see a huge smile on Ian’s face, just as Caitlin turned around from the passenger seat to face Ian and stated empathetically,
“You can’t. She might be dead. And China is a really a big country, I doubt we could even find her.”
WAITTT!!! WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?!?!?! Let me get this straight, Ian wants to see his birth mom because he is so happy that we are getting ice cream. Not how I had imagined the topic would arise. And now…Caitlin is telling him that he can’t because…ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!
I thought about all the situations and topics covered in the adoption books I read or the classes I had taken. Nope, not one covered ice cream happiness and birth moms. So what do I do?!?!?! All I could do…breathe. I took a really slow… deep…breath.
“Ian, I want you to meet your birth mom some day and I promise you that I will try to help you find her.”
“Caitlin’s right. She might be dead,” Ian stated sadly.
“If she is, I will help you with that too. All I know right now is that I am your everyday mom, and I am so lucky because I get to love and hug you every day.”
Glimpse #2: Watching Ian do flips in the water can teach me lessons about life.
In January, we went to Mexico on our first family vacation. The warmth and sunshine was a wonderful escape from the harsh cold New England winter. Everyone’s favorite activity was playing in the pools. Ian loved learning to do flips in the water and was working hard to perfect this new skill.
“Mom, watch me do three flips!”
I stood poolside in amazement as Ian fluidly and effortlessly completed three backward flips in a row under the water- A TRIPLE FLIP! I honestly couldn’t believe it. Why so amazed? Well, to start Ian had learned to swim only six months earlier, and he never had a formal swim lesson in his life.
I asked him to do it again so I could film it. Here it is:
Can you feel the joy?
Later that night, I’ve watched the video over and over again. Then, I realized that with each backward flip Ian was teaching me a lesson.
- Flip #1: Let go! Just let go and let life happen.
- Flip #2: Have hope. No matter where we start, there is always hope that we can do more and be more.
- Flip #3: Believe in your own potential. The only limitation is your mindset.
Glimpse #3: Love is powerful.
With Ian in our lives for 17 months, we laugh harder, say ‘I love you’ more, and take simple things for granted less. Ian has shown us that when you let love into your life, joy follows. Yes, there are unexpected hard moments that make you grow in ways you never thought possible but that’s life. So, let the love in!