When I began my adoption journey so many years ago, Mary Lou asked me if I had any child in mind to adopt.
“Whichever child needs a home the most.”
“There’s a little boy, Joshua –”
“Great! I’ll take him!”
“Well, I have to send you his paperwork first, his background and his –”
“Naah, don’t worry about that. I’ll just take him.”
“No, really, I need to send you his paperwork before you can officially choose him.”
“Fine. Send it. But I’m taking him.”
I’d like to say, ‘before I knew it, I was flying to Manila,’ but even though it was only a few months, it felt like an eternity between officially choosing Joshua and being able to take him home. The time since then has flown by though, and the tiny boy falling asleep in my lap is now a high school athlete applying to college.
(I told him he should attend the college near where I work so we can have lunch together every day. His answer? “Mom – no. Just – no.”)
His typical teenage reticence to be seen with his mother aside, Joshua is the most amazing young man. He’s won an award for his artwork, he sings with his high school’s Men’s Choir, he’s been on the baseball, soccer, basketball, wrestling, and track teams, and his football team just finished an undefeated season. And while I have had to tell him about a billion times, “Did you know there’s a button on the TV that turns it off when you’re not watching it???”, he makes sure my phone is charged, cleans the bathtub after we wash the dog, leaves a light on for me if I’m getting home after dark, and does so many other things, usually without being asked, that I constantly wonder what I did so right to deserve such a wonderful son. (Nothing comes to mind…)
As I have told him many, many times, Joshua will always be the best thing that ever happened to me.
Our second year has been filled with lots of small moments where we have slowed down to connect, heal, and build something new. We will all admit that what we are building is not perfect and the process is often messy. But… it is us weaving our lives together. It is how we define our family.
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