Saturday, October 31, 2009
One year later
I am totally, completely sold out for Manolin. His enormous dimples, his black curls, his big brown eyes, his croaky little man voice ... the total package melts me. I have been cross-eyed crazy over each of my kids but folks, I'll tell you a secret: if this little boy asked me to, I'd swim to the moon in a sea of cottage cheese for him. No two ways about it. He has me, hook line and sinker.
Mani's personality shines. At seventeen months, he's a bundle of giggles and belly laughs, all rolled up with puppy-dog pouts and flailing tantrums. He loves his "meeeelk" and his "nigh-nigh," and the look he gives me when he's trying to convey some very important thing that I'm just not getting is a mixture of sadness, regret, and impatience.
Toddlerhood. It's a battlefield, yes. But oh, man ... is it cute!
Manolin came to us on Oct. 31, 2008. A year ago today, I remember floating through the morning with that impending labor sensation. And then--suddenly--there was Manolin. Perfect, joyful, happy Manolin. His past was quickly receding from memory, and his future, so far as he was concerned, was pretty darn bright. He was an in-the-moment, pleasant, cuddly little ball of boyness.
I loved him from the moment his eyes met mine.
This is the truly amazing thing about God leading you to your children through adoption rather than biology: when you find them, you claim them. They become a part of you, just not the part that settles into your hip bones and presses on your bladder. And when they are ready, those children claim you.
And that's the good stuff.
Manolin has made it very clear where he stands in our family. He is never happier than when he's riding my hip, peering into the washing machine as it begins to agitate. He calls "Da-da! Da-daaaa!" every morning at precisely 6:30 a.m., announcing to the world that it's time for his daddy to come and scoop him up. He knows exactly how high he must reach to catch hold of Jo's knees and be swung up into a joyful kiss. He eyes Atticus expectantly, waiting for the ferocious tickle-fests that his oldest brother inevitably provides. He knows he can count on Logan for the patient reading of books and the rambunctious ball play that will result in Mom calling a quiet time. And he knows that Oli, his near-twin, not-quite big brother is his partner in crime for every misadventure from climbing on the coffee table to upsetting a basket of freshly folded clothes.
Manolin is ours, and we are his. Twelve months has passed, and all we need, really, is for the law to cement it.
We love you, Mani, and we celebrate God's choosing us as your forever family. Happy Gotcha' Day!