Of all the things that surprise me, a whole year after our adoption, the biggest is the undiminished pride I feel when I slip the words “My Son” into a conversation.
And I might… possibly… slip them in more often than is strictly necessary.
Perhaps it is those years when all those typically “boy” things (which my girls disliked no matter how enlightened and gender neutral we tried to be) – the dinosaurs and matchbox cars and hockey gear and train sets – sent a little ping of grief across my heart. All the things I never got to have or do or be with the baby boys I lost.
Perhaps it is the length of time we had to wait for you. Wondering. Imagining. Making plans that ended with “… if we have a new baby by then.”
Perhaps it is the way I feel we earned you. Not like a possession or a prize… but coming home at the end of a hard fought, life changing journey.
And perhaps this is how adoption, and every other scenario where kids don’t come the easy way, is different. Most of the time, having a child requires only a small amount of planning, if any. Two of mine came without any planning at all (surprise!). They are not any less (or more) precious for it, but I took being their Mom for granted.
It just happened. It didn’t require much thought or soul searching. I never felt the need to prove it or defend it. I didn’t have to work hard to get there. Those maternal instincts came pre-assembled.
But you, My Son, we made this Mother-Son thing together. We built it ourselves.
So when I talk about you, I puff up my chest and emphasize the words: MY Son.
So here’s me, an obnoxiously proud Mama. Even more than usual (and I was already pretty obnoxious, according to the oldest kids).