I remember so vividly, right down to what I was wearing, when this child first came into our lives. It was totally unexpected. We thought we would be travelling to Kazakhstan "blind" (which means you meet and choose your child in-country, you are not referred a child) so we were anxiously awaiting travel dates, not the phone call we got. I was at work, happily plugging away, when Zach called and said "So, Lisa called......." and my heart stopped. I asked if we had travel dates and he said "Nooo... we have a referral. It's a 6 month old boy" Upon which there was much joyous shrieking and happy confusion and questions about when, WHEN, WHEEEEEENNNNNN could I see this boy's face. Zach was finally able to forward me the pictures, we got 6 great ones, and as they opened, my breath caught. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, could have prepared me for a baby of this kind of beauty. When I called our coordinator, she picked up on the first ring and squealed "April! You have a Gerber baby!!!!" The video, that the FED-ex worker brought to us on her day off because that's the kind of place Vermont is, was the BEST 10 minutes of my life to that point. Even the adoption pediatrician, who is not known for being effusive, sent us an e-mail that said "I got the material and will evaluate it tonight, but I have to say I LOVE this baby!" Everybody has always loved this boy.
His darling birth-mother loved him and still does, of course. She stayed with him in the hospital for almost 2 weeks and breast-fed him. Hers was not an easy choice. I can't imagine the pain of her decision. I love her, and my heart breaks at the thought of their separation, even while I rejoice at my luck at being allowed to be his mom.
This boy is wild, and brave and naturally principled. He is loving, and kind, and incredibly destructive and messy. He is somehow able to whine and laugh at the same time. His hugs are likely to cause bodily harm and his love of, well, everything and everybody, literally radiates out of him. He is always ready to like people and his instincts about the true nature of others is dead on.
He is a snuggle bug. Not to old to cuddle up with his mom and dad. He often asks for someone to "snuggle him to sleep" which we almost always oblige because, let's face it, how much longer do you think that request is going to keep coming. He slept in our room (they all did) until October of this year (when Noah's wakings and their schedule started to interfere with each other) and now that he and Grace are in their own room, he sleeps through the night, but I miss his little body coming into our bed in the middle of the night. I confess to a secret thrill when he calls to me in the wee hours because of a bad dream or... whatever really. I race down the hall, leap into bed with him and we burrow down all warm and cozy and he always says "Mmmmaaammmmmaaaaaa!" in this sweet, happy, declarative voice that just fills me with my love for him.
His sensitive edges are wearing off a bit, and he is getting a tinge of sarcasm about him (NO idea where he picked THAT up), but there is no way that anybody could ever take the sweetness out of this boy. From the first day we met him, he has been a happy guy. He was a little unsure of who we were, but ready to like us immediately. He is always ready to like everyone immediately. That's just how this child was made.
Now if only his mother would brush his hair once in a while.