Today is Grandpa Roger's Birthday. Or Pa. Or a name to be determined. Whatever Ari decides on, it's my dad's birthday. I meant to take a photo of the three of us at dinner tonight but of course forgot. So you will have to settle for the pre-party pics of Ari and his water table. Come on, Summer!
And just because it is Pa's Birthday, Ari rocking out the racing suit I wore back in the day.
Even though I'm a day late, I just have to blog about my first Mother's Day. But, first of all, let me preface this by saying this past weekend was a whirlwind of activities. Friday was mine and Roger's five-year anniversary. Oh, how fast the past five years have gone. Wow!! I love that man with all my being. He is THE BEST husband and father a wife/mother could ever ask for. I mean that. He is crazy awesome. And he is also a crazy-good gift giver. Like an Apple-scrapbook-of photos-covering-the-first-five years-of-our-marriage-good. And how do I reward him for that indescribably thoughtful and wonderful gift? By dragging him to St. Louis late Friday night so I can attend an all-day court reporting seminar to get my CEU points and then drive home Saturday night. Ugh!!! Actually, I didn't make him go with me. I told him it would be totally okay if he wanted to stay home with Ari, but he said he couldn't let me be driving alone to St. Louis on our anniversary. Did I mention how lucky I am?? Oh, yeah.
So driving home from St. Louis Saturday night with Ari sleeping peacefully in the backseat I started crying. And it really came out of nowhere. Not a pretty cry with big tear drops streaming down my face that Roger likes to tease me about. No. This was a cry that literally sucked the air out of me. Where I couldn't really breathe or speak for a good minute. And this was caused all because I started to really think about how I was a mother....on Mother's Day. And how in the world did I get so lucky?? So ridiculously blessed? I questioned God so many times when we were trying to become parents the biological way and asked, "Why? Why do you deprive motherhood from me when that is all I've ever wanted to do? What I feel I was made to do? What I planned my whole life for?" Oh, how God answered my prayers. He does not disappoint. He delivered my heart's desire beyond my wildest imagination and knew all along I would be the mother to this particular little boy. And then I started to think about Ari's first mother and how I wish I could share Mother's Day with her. After all, it would only be fair. She will always be his mother and I will always be his mother. In a perfect world we could celebrate Mother's Day together. I would hug her close and she could see again this beautiful boy that she brought into the world that I now adore and love and have the privilege of parenting and I would tell her how much pure joy he brings me. I think of Ari's mom every day. I do. How could I not? I look in Ari's eyes and think, "Do you have her eyes? Those gorgeous, smiling eyes?" I give him a bath and think, "Do you have her feet? Her knees? Her hair?" I hear him laugh and think, "Do you have her sweet disposition?" He does something new and smart and I think, "Do you have her intelligence?" Countless times I think of her. But especially on Mother's Day I think of her, Ari's first amaye.
Ari will be 10 months old on Sunday and this is what he's been up to this week. Really?? Already? So exciting and fun, yet makes mommy a little sad. Sigh. What a big boy!
Also, read this article, "Africa Reboots," at this blog we follow. I love this article. It gives me hope for Africa. All you ever hear is "help Africa, send aid to Africa, sponsor an orphan in Africa," etc., etc. And while all of that is very much needed, OVERWHELMINGLY needed, how incredible would it be to see Africa be able to take care of Africa during our lifetime. To not depend so desperately on our aid but to become self-sufficient. To be an equal, a partner on the world stage in government leadership, in commerce. My thought while in Ethiopia was "Wow, this is a beautiful place. The history, the culture, it has so much potential to be so much more than it is right now. If only it wasn't so oppressed. By government. By poverty." Hope. There is always hope. I am rooting for Africa.
Oh, and I did have the privilege (and it is very much a privilege) of talking about international adoption recently for a radio interview on KSMU. You can read/listen to it here.