I would do anything for this boy, I thought as I felt his warmth pressed against me.
It was naptime and Matthew had been showing signs of being ready for a while—needing to be held more than normal, sucking his thumb an extra measure, fussing at the smallest little thing.
So I carried him upstairs to our impromptu “nap room,” the attic guest room, and settled him in, snuggled against my chest, a blanket wrapping us both into a warm cocoon. I started to sing, the songs I normally sing to put him to sleep. “Simple Gifts.” John Denver’s song “Matthew.” “Morningtown.” The whole line up.
Somewhere during the last verse of Morningtown, I felt his body relax. His breathing took on an easy rhythm. And I realized my boy had fallen asleep.
And that’s when I felt it, deep inside.
I’ve heard other adopted parents say there’s a point where you cross through the thick mud and mire that is adoption into the regular journey of parenthood. And in my own heart, these past few weeks, as I’ve waded deep into my own fears and worries, realized epiphanies about the kind of parent I’m called to be, and settled into this new normal that isn’t so new anymore, I feel a kind of passage into a parenthood that is authentic and familiar.
And when I stop focusing on the losses and instead embrace all that is good in our lives, I find there is so much along the way that I get to see, because I'm paying attention.
Like that moment with a little boy snuggled into my chest, his weight and his significance fully upon me. I cannot say what I will feel tomorrow, for honestly I have no idea what is ahead.
But on this rainy Thursday afternoon, I feel a deep sense of gratitude that Matthew is my boy. I know with certainty that this is where he belongs—and that no matter what comes in the future, we can rest knowing that this little boy will always belong here with us, his family—and in the warmth and safety of his mama’s arms.