Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Miracle To Me

I am painted with a fresh coat of wonder that our children found us. Maybe by number three it should seem somewhat commonplace, but I hear them whispering down the stairs in the morning, and I am amazed. I brush their teeth, stir their oatmeal, fold tiny t-shirts - Amazed.

I have to look twice, sometimes. To me, they are Calvin, Ruby, Silas. They are just my babies. It's only when we get double-length looks at the grocery store that it hits me - our family does not blend. Only then do I truly remember that so many little ones look smack-dab like their mamas or daddies. It stings my heart that my children will never hear those words. Will they miss them? Will they notice?

A fistful of mornings ago, the "babies" still sleeping, Calvin launched into a story that began with the line, "Back when I was in my foster mommy's tummy..." I almost let it go. I didn't want to have this talk before I had even brushed my teeth. Standing barefooted at the counter, getting ready to stir the oatmeal, I said the words. "Calvin, you were not in your foster mommy's tummy. You were in your birth mommy's tummy."

A pause. A tilt of his head. A look.

I had very recently told Cory that I thought Calvin was confused by this. He and his brother hear about their foster mommies who cared for them until they could "come home". Ruby knows her birth mama by name, receives surprise notes telling her, "The world is more beautiful because you are in it." Their stories might look the same to passersby, but they are each different.

So, I explained again. And he really listened this time. I had the floor. He asked about her. And I told him what I knew in my heart, "Calvin, she loves you very much. She looked at your cute, round face and she kissed it so many times. She thought you were the most precious baby in the world. She wanted you to be in a family that could take the best care of you. And out of all of the babies in the world, and all of the families in the world, God matched us up. Forever."

Those almond eyes - they looked right into me. That chin quivered.

"I wish I lived in Korea because...."

And mama interrupted, "I know, because it's your country."

"No! Because it's my own, special habitat."

How does he know this already? How does he understand? He's right.

I rubbed that little back and we talked about flying across the ocean, one day.

I whispered one of the truest truth's I know: "Calvin, you were such a brave baby to come to our family on an airplane."

So often, people, in their own sense of wonder, maybe, or in their attempt to fill the silence, tell us how brave, wonderful, "good" we are "to do this". Without exception, I shove down the impulse to shout, "No, they are brave. They are good. They are wonderful. We got the easy end of this deal."

My pie-in-the-sky wish is for each of my children to wear their baby-bravery like a badge of honor. I hope it takes them places. I hope they learn, early on, that there is room in their hearts for all different kinds of love. I hope a tiny seed of courage grows in their hearts, even now. Life is easier when we trust enough to make the hard choices. This fine thread is woven into their very lives, stitched in place by three beautiful ladies who trusted so far beyond themselves.

And I am simply amazed.