Parental fragility

It’s our last night in Arizona, and I’m up feeding Griffin at midnight. We had another big day, largely thanks to our wonderful lunch with Bianca. She told us that she wanted a fully open adoption. David and I table danced with joy! Not in our wildest dreams did we think we’d get this lucky – fully closed to fully open. We talked about visits, whole families meeting families, and sharing photos and stories over the coming years. We’ll text. After all, we say with ease, we are family.

Here’s where the afraid part comes in. My love for this child, Dave’s love for this child, and our kids’ love for this child is so vast that there’s no going back. As we packed our bags and said our goodbyes, the reality of going home with the solid hunk of love on my shoulder takes my breath away. He’s our miracle, after months of heartache and disappointment. He reaffirms my faith in adoption, and people, and in the world. He fills a giant void in my heart and soothes the scratches there. As his big, alert eyes stare deep into mine, my whole heart is his.

I eat him up greedily as he sucks furiously on his bottle. I covet the feeling of his soft hair tickling my chin as he burrows his head into my shoulder. During the night, I sleep more soundly as I hear his little noises. Poor David! They keep him awake. For me, it’s a constant reminder that Griffin is real. Babies have the magical ability to inspire this ferocious and bottomless feeling, this need to protect and envelop. We will do anything for this child. I know this whole family feels the same way.

Remy and Tess demanded morning snuggles with him today. They decided this without bickering, and didn’t argue over who got to hold him. They held him together. Our children, who are fully in the “I want the green cup!” phase care for their brother together in a way I never saw coming. He gets so many kisses! His binky never leaves his mouth for long, as both kids go running to help him out, should it fall. Our good fortune of being his family seems preordained and yet unreal, as we live out our time in Arizona.

Our cocooning window comes to a close Sunday. Late tomorrow night we will go to sleep in our own beds. We will wake up to our daily routine, and will share him with the wonderful people who have been begging to meet him over the past few weeks. Sharing him at home makes it real.

So we’re leaving the safe zone of life in a different house and a different state. We are returning to the confines and joys of our home. We loved our time here, but all of us are ready to get home. Tess, in particular, is nearly writhing to get on the plane.

I beg the world to treat my raw heart with kindness over the next few months before this adoption is finalized. We’ll revel in his growth as he stretches rapidly into the next clothing size. I’ll coo at his almost smiles. We’ll delight in sharing photos with Bianca and her family, and communicating how rapidly our extended family embraces him. No one can love him more than we do, but our families will certainly give us a run for our money!

It’s in these early days that I feel the fragility of our luck. As we tried to have children biologically, I remembered how stunningly small the chances of conception were. That’s not just for infertile couples – the likelihood of any of us being born is infinitesimal. The likelihood of a mom choosing adoption? Of support for that choice from the birth family? Of that generous woman choosing us?! It feels astronomically unlikely. And yet, here I sit, alone in the dark, feeding our son. How could we not consider this a miracle?

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