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Six years and six thousand miles ago our son was born.

At that same time, in Oregon, Husband had just accepted a new job and was poised to relocate our small family of four to Montana. Taking a break from packing, we hosted an impromptu playdate with Firstborn’s sweet pal from school– a cleft-affected girl who as a toddler had been adopted from China. Foreshadow much, God? Our own dream of adopting quietly simmered on the back-burner.

It feels like a lifetime ago. A few months after settling in Montana we began the arduous process of international adoption, preparing ourselves for a long haul. It took another year, awash in a sea of paperwork, to be matched to our sweet son and six months after that we finally traveled to China to spend a month in country meeting him, making it legal, becoming a family, and bringing him home.

Today, back in Oregon, we live smack in the middle of a makeshift commune next door to my sister’s family. Little Man’s youngest cousin was born almost exactly a month before him, and after enjoying a Mary Poppins-esque ‘practically perfect in every way’ Kindergarten year together they remain joined at the hip most days. We celebrated the “twin-cousins” jointly a couple weekends ago, splitting the difference between birthdates.

easiest party in the history of ever, plus half priced because we split the bill

peas & carrots

Frankly, I think it’s edifying for kids to share the spotlight sometimes, anyway.

On his actual birthday this week we celebrated simply with a messy backyard breakfast, some fun at the park, and dinner out to his favorite: Teppanyaki.

We are forever grateful for our son and for the sacrificial measures his brave birth-mom took to preserve his life. We do not take for granted the privilege of being his parents and freedom to build our family in the manner we choose. Just like how I remember our daughter in heaven on her birthday each year, I know his birth-mother must think of him on his day, annually, as well. Only God could have melded our stories and shaped our family in such a beautiful way.

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