Today is the little boy in Haiti’s birthday. The boy who may or may not come to live with us forever (in a year or two) is now one year old.
This is a day for reflection. I have been down this road several times, this road of celebration for the children I hope to love and cherish on this earth, but sometimes never come home. I have always felt that these moments need to be marked, though, because what if it does work out this time? In that case, of course, we will want these memories to share with him.
I made an ugly cake. I didn’t mean for it to be ugly, but it just didn’t work out the way I planned (and welcome to the rest of my life!). The love behind the gesture will just have to be enough. And you know what? I think it is enough. I started to realize this cake, with the swirling blues and splatters of gold balls, kind of looks like a globe if looked at lovingly with a lazy, far away glance (or maybe this is just me…but try to go with it). This cake – with the land masses sprinkled in the wrong places and the not-so-tidy or realistic purple border – seems fitting and even unitive (and what a joke it would be if I showed you the cake decorating ideas I got off of Pinterest for this attempt!).
Yes, this cake is a cake of love. This cake is a cake of connection. With this cake, I am celebrating the life of a boy I’ve never met…and hoping he won’t be too upset if one day he has to make a big trip (across golden land masses that look very different than the ones on my cake) and becomes part of our family. There is perfection in this imperfect sign of longing and invitation. Happy birthday, little guy. We love you already.
I love to celebrate, and – after getting a little more courage from MPB’s journey – I decided I need to try and let go and purchase a thing or two for the little one coming, as well! Now, we still have a long time, so I don’t want to go overboard, but a few little things can’t hurt to help us celebrate the milestones.
I have a great affinity for children’s books and whenever I think of our child’s room, I always imagine a book case with stacks and stacks of children’s books. We’ve actually received two books in the midst of this process – one from a family member and one from a close friend.
These books have been such a delight! They are vessels of light, support, and the promise of tomorrow. They also are the start of what I know will be an awesome collection. So, I decided to celebrate by purchasing my first ever items for a child of ours…I bought several children’s books on adoption and multicultural families. I can’t wait to read through them with our child one day and fill his mind with positive and nurturing stories of his journey (wow, I get to say “his”)!
These will be a surprise for my husband, so I hope he will also find joy in starting our journey with these little treats. Cautiously, we are opening ourselves up to this dream. It’s a great feeling to immerse ourselves in hope again after so much loss and patience!
As I approach thirty, I think of all the things I’ve done with my life and those still to come. I’ve fallen in love and have gotten my heart smashed into little pieces. I’ve fallen in love again and married the chips to my salsa, the wind to my kite. I’ve moved halfway across the world and then back home again. I’ve moved across the country – which was unsurprisingly fun – and then I moved across the same state, which I found to be surprisingly much less fun and much more of a culture shock than moving across the country.
I’ve defended not having kids seven years into my marriage. I’ve defended working moms. I’ve defended stay-at-home moms. I’ve cried from the relief of not being pregnant. I’ve tried to get pregnant. I’ve cried because I wasn’t pregnant. I’ve cried in front of those I swore I’d never cry in front of: employers, coaches, hell…a massage therapist (yes, during a massage…aren’t I a treat). Would you believe I actually don’t have a reputation of a crier or someone whom falls apart at a pin’s drop?
Well, the countdown is officially ON. I have less than one month until my 30th birthday. (!) So, of course there are some petty, superficial thoughts bursting through my brain as the crossover approaches. There are also some deep “this will take opening a bottle of wine with my best friend” thoughts. I’ll go from a celebrated, “the world is your oyster” twenty-something to a what-do-you-have-to-show-for-your-life-you-are-not-so-young-anymore thirty-something.
As I’ve said before, I believe in commencement. Even though it would be easy to say this birthday is “just another day” and glide, I prefer to mark the occasion – contemplating it to the finite point where my husband stops listening – and celebrate the tidbits & tribulations, triumphs & tales, of this unique life, my journey on uncharted (preferably seafoam green) waters.
I believe in prayer. I believe in celebrations and commencements. I believe in eating your vegetables and buying too many swimsuits because – the day you are destined to be on the beach – one might look better than the other four in your closet. I believe in indulging regularly, but in constantly different circumstances – so moderation presents itself in all things.
Stealing nectar. I think life isn’t sweet enough on its own. I think we need to steal the sugar we get in our lives. Work harder. Be gentler. Try to forgive. Pilfer as much good stuff from life as you can because you’ll always get surprise challenges and disappointments…so take a little sun when you can.
I say this as a woman prone to anxiousness and worry. I say this as the advice I’d give myself and, with enough practice, I believe I can begin to live this way without as much effort. I open this corner of the earth – this blog – with a prayer because I believe it’s the way we all begin anything worthwhile, spoken or unspoken.