This week, we celebrated both Max's and Koah's birthdays. This week, Koah turned 10 years old, and Max turned 3 years old. And, this week, as I look at them, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am blessed to be their mommy. I am blessed that they are here and thriving. I am blessed to kiss their sweet faces and hold them in my arms. I do not take that blessing for granted. I know the emptiness of missing one of my children, and I know that I could have been missing them, too. But, they are here, and I am blessed.
It is hard to believe that 10 years ago I became a mommy for the first time. I will never forget that feeling....it has to be one of the best feelings in the world. Ten years ago, Koah gave me the best gift he could ever give me when he made me a mommy. He was 7 pounds 12 3/4 ounces of pure perfection. He was beautiful, and perfect, and healthy (or so we thought). I fell fiercely in love with him the moment I saw him. I loved every second of being a mom, and all was well with the world. During the next 7 1/2 years, he constantly filled our lives with joy. He was as close to perfect as any child could ever be. It wasn't my parenting skills, either...he was just born awesome.
But, what we didn't know was that Koah was living with an undiagnosed heart defect. He was living with a heart defect that could have taken his life at any second. But, God provided the miracle for saving Koah's life when he sent his baby brother, Isaac, to this earth. At the age of 7 1/2 years old, while Isaac was recovering from his second open heart surgery, Koah had heart surgery to fix his heart. And, I am so thankful for the gift God gave me when he gave my incredible son, Koah, to me twice - first on the day he was born, and then when He gave him back to me again the day his heart was fixed. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I have the privilege of being his mom every day.
I realize from the depth of my heart how truly blessed I am to have him here with me. I am so thankful for the blessing of watching him grow up into an incredible, kind, compassionate, smart, funny, sweet, caring, and loving young man that I am so incredibly proud to call my son. I do not take that blessing for granted.
Not only am I blessed to have celebrated another birthday with Koah, I am blessed to have celebrated another birthday with Max. While I had the priviledge of being Koah's mommy from the time he started growing under my heart, it wasn't until Max was 20 months old that I was given the privilege of being his mommy. I will never forget the day that I first saw him. He was so scared and so sick. We didn't know what the future would hold for Max, but we knew that his only hope for a future would be in a family, and we wanted to be that family. Even once we were home with him, his future was still unclear, but now 15 months later, with his third open heart surgery behind him (his first with us, but not his last), he is thriving and so full of life and joy. And, I am overwhelmed with gratitude once again for the gift God gave me when I became his mom for the very first time 15 months ago and when He gave him back to me again with a healthier and stronger heart 5 months later.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Max, because it tells a story. This is a little boy who, only 16 months ago, did not know what it meant to be loved, and here he is signing his sign for "I love you". He now not only knows what it means to be loved, but he knows how to give love....how to be love. And, this, my friends, is the gift of adoption.
The magnitude of the blessing that God has given me in these two boys, and in Abigail, Ryder, Isaac, Henry, and Elliette does not escape me. I am beyond grateful. I am beyond blessed. I am beyond loved.