Bittersweet.

 

fireplace

Baby Boy’s first birthday is quickly approaching.Confession: I have been a bit blue about it.

Birthdays are always bittersweet for me, as I imagine they are for every mom. Each year, when we have celebrated Yaya’s birthdays, I feel so excited about what lies ahead and the amazing girl she is growing into, but also sad at how quickly the past year has gone and that the sweet baby/toddler/preschooler is growing up.

With Baby Boy’s approaching birthday, I must admit that I’ve been feeling a bit more “bitter” than “sweet”.

I know, I know — there is so much to celebrate and the fact that we are able to celebrate his first birthday together is SUCH a gift. And you moms who have adopted older children and grieved years lost with them are rolling your eyes at me for having had the blessing of only missing the first nine months of my child’s life yet still having the nerve to whine about the time gone by. But I need your permission to mourn a little bit.

Your heart pulls you in so many different directions when you raise an adopted child. I feel overflowing gratitude for the blessing of this baby, but overwhelming sorrow at the loss that had to happen for him to come to me. There is a recognition that he is “mine”, but yet belongs to another. There is joy at having him here at such a young age, but ache for the months that we lost while he sat in an orphanage. There is such happiness that he is becoming healthy and growing but sadness that the brief two weeks where he was content to lay his cheek against my chest for hours disappeared so quickly. Even though he is nowhere near “toddling” — I am sad that he is about to be considered a toddler and no longer a baby — though I know the toddler years will bring new memories and joys.

Last night, Baby Boy was really sick (soy formula: I hate you). After an incident  in the middle of the night, he woke up and watched me quietly as I changed his sheets and pajamas. Since Joel had an early morning he decided to sleep upstairs and so it was just Baby Boy and me in this moment. Before I put him back in his crib, I laid him on the bed next to me and he smiled at me and held my fingers. He was just tired enough to lay with me for awhile — there was nothing else to distract him — and he gazed at me for a half an hour smiling, before he fell asleep.

In that God-given moment, I felt peace. No ache, no sadness, no conflicting emotions, no anxiety about his weight loss — just contentment. I am going to try harder to keep my thoughts and emotions and anxiety from overwhelming me, and instead to soak up the present moments and find peace in them.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:2

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