Today was a special day. It's the eve of Kena's second birthday. He's been in my arms for 3 1/2 months. We've been through a lot of change and transition, and the road ahead is still long. It's a lifetime long. Today felt like a little glimpse into a lifetime ahead of love, affection, and oneness.
Today Kena stroked my hair. I held him on my left hip as I often do, and I realized that he was just gently stroking my hair. My other children have stroked my hair. It's a tender sign of affection that speaks a lot of love to me. It's a sign that he finds comfort with me. It's an answer to prayer.
In the past 3 1/2 months there have been many really sweet moments. There have also been really, really tough moments. I have been hit, bitten, have had food, toys, and all sorts of things thrown at me. My hair has been pulled. I have been slapped. I have lost sleep...so much sleep. I have dealt with fear of what the next issue will be. I have cried...a lot...like, so, so much. I have gained weight. I have lost any sense of personal space and time. I have lost lots of independence. I have despaired.
Then he stroked my hair. He also squeezed my cheek close to his and held it there for a long time.
Lately, he has started hugging me tight. It's not a hug out of fear and desperation. I have experienced lots of those over the past few months, and I am thankful he clung to me in that fear. Now, however, he has started hugging me on his own initiative. It's so sweet and affectionate. He looks at me, and I am starting to see connection. It's hard to explain, but it's an answer to prayer.
A significant change I have made since Kena has been home has been that I try to wake up at or before 6:00 a.m. Kena (and the rest of my kids) usually wake at 7:00 a.m. or later. I have learned that I really need time in my house when it is quiet. I turn on as few lights as I need, pour a cup of coffee, read my Table Talk devotion and Bible reading, read a daily Psalm, pray, and then I either read another book or shop online. :)
I have recently been humbled by the fact that I needed to pray for MY bond with Kena as much as I needed to pray for his bond with me. Only the Lord can make us one. Only the Lord can take his desperation for security and my desire for affection and create a true bond.
He did that. Today. When Kena stroked my hair and pulled my cheek close.
Things are changing. Our exchanges are more real and more authentic. I know it will come in waves. He (and I) will have good days and bad days. I will lack patience. His desperation and insecurity will overcome him. But things are changing.
So on this eve of his 2nd birthday, I am encouraged. I have not been there for all of his days. The significance of this loss has overwhelmed me all day long. I have missed so much. These days now, though, I refuse to miss. I will cherish everyday the Lord gives me to be his Mommy. He had a first Mommy, and I am so thankful for her and her decision to see him into this life. I am thankful for all the other arms who held him until he found his way into our arms. Now we are his family forever. I will hold him on my hip, let him stroke my hair, and move into whatever the Lord has for us next.
Goodnight, little one. Get ready for Friederichsen Family birthday donuts tomorrow!!!