Profundity of life after adoption

"Nummies, Mama? I make you dis."

His tiny little voice barely above a whisper as he approaches me on the couch, handing me a tiny toy colander filled with a wooden pizza slice and two felt pieces of bread- white and rye. "Peanut butter, cheese, and chocolate, " he tells me.

Gifts from my boy.

From where I am sitting I can see a wall full of pictures; pictures we took of him last July, when we first met our little boy in a Moscow orphanage. He's two, but he looks much younger. Maybe a year and a half old.

I remember last year: worrying about him, wanting- no aching- to bring him home, and counting down every eternal day until we did. Mostly I remember walking the streets around our neighbourhood and praying as desperately as I could for that home-coming day to arrive soon.

Lots about parenting an adopted child is very normal. We do all the regular parenting things like books and baths, play dough and painting, making messes and tidying up...

But parts of it are just so profound. Every time we walk those same streets together- my boy and I- I think about those prayers I whispered and that deep ache in my heart, now filled. Neither my heart nor my mind can comprehend the mysterious way in which God seemed to bend fate and bring us together.  Redemption for both of us.

We do such normal things like taking our boy to the zoo and yet the whole experience is seeped in this profound brew of what is and what could have been. I watch my boy who has morphed from babyhood to childhood in nine short months and I am amazed. As he gestated in our family he has grown only more vibrant. Just when we think we've hit the height of his transformation, he surprises us.
Can you see the lion?

Nine months ago, he grew upset when we had him run around inside without shoes on, so used to having his little feet always covered. Five months ago we took him, bundled in our winter clothes, to the shore of Lake Michigan and he froze in the sand, then gingerly pushed it back with the tip of boot, wondering what is this stuff? We tried him on a trampoline twice this summer, both times to cries of, "I don't like it!!" and scooped him off.

And then yesterday, we came across this net at our zoo's playground- roped across a pit, bouncing and insecure beneath the happy feet of running children. And Arie tried it.

With apprehension, he took two steps and cried out, "Mama help!" but we encouraged him to do it alone. "Only kids allowed on here Arie! No grown ups. I know you can do it!"

Slowly, he took another step. And another. His face grew more determined and proud with every inch until finally, he reached the other side. Pure victory for my little man.

As he raced around that play fort I was lost again in the profundity of what is and what could have been. A year ago, an orphanage. Today, a zoo. A year ago, thousands of miles away. Today, here. What could have been: the small world, the day-to-day, the every changing care-givers, and the insecurity of not knowing who comes next. A little boy, relying on himself. What is: a big world of new experiences, the day-to-day and the joyful surprises, the constant love of mom and dad, the security of knowing that it's us, forever. A big boy, growing brave and finding his way.

His life verse runs constant through my mind: 

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

With his life, God is doing a new thing. The profound moments stitched like a colorful thread through the fabric of my day.

There will be many more of these moments. Many more times when I will be struck with the wonder of his life- of my life- redeemed. More pictures in albums and photos on my wall. Restoration. Streams in the wasteland.




  1. Anonymous9/03/2013

    I need to stop reading your blog at work, it always makes me tear up! You have such a way with words and making a person feel something inside while reading. So happy for your family. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Ha! Blame it on allergies. ;-) Thank you for this comment; so encouraging.

  2. You definitely have a way with words. I love reading your posts and getting a peak into your lives. And I love this post, with the what is and what could have been. So happy that you have your little boy with your now.

    P.S. Have I mentioned yet that you are beautiful? I love that first picture of you holding Arie, you look gorgeous. And he's pretty cute too. ;)

    1. You are so kind! Thank you!! Yes I am SO HAPPY to have him with me. Being mama is the best!

  3. Oh my goodness, I read this with a giant smile on my face and tears in my eyes. Your journey to Arie has captivated me from the beginning, and to see him grow in front of my (blogger) eyes :) is incredible. You and your husband are truly amazing parent and Arie is an amazing little boy. Thank you so much for sharing your journey to him and after. God Bless you all.




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