For some reason this week, the gravity of parenthood and how truly lucky Jenn and I are has weighed on my mind. Every time I turn around it seems I have been reminded of what a miracle this whole journey has been. I mean there are so many things that had they turned out just a little different would have completely changed our lives. More than ever I feel that Nolin was meant to be part of our family and that I was meant to be his father.
I have been thinking about what would have happened if we had not chosen to move to Florida, if Jenn had not seen the mention in our church bulletin about Catholic Charities adoption classes or even if we had not decided to wait for a little bit before pursuing adoption. Would things have turned out the same or differently. What if Nolin’s birth mother had chosen another family? Jenn and I often comment to each other that Nolin is the perfect child for us.
It may be because we took time to get Nolin’s passport. As we were waiting in line, I started thinking about our upcoming guys’ trip to the Cayman Islands for my cousin’s wedding and then our trip to Europe to visit Axelle and Jenn’s family in Ireland. I also saw Nolin’s passport as his ticket to all the adventures that his life will have in store for him…and it’s just the beginning.
It may also have been because we had the opportunity to spend time with Nolin’s birth mother again this week. While these get-togethers are still emotional, it is a good type of emotional. For her I believe these days serve as positive reinforcement of the selfless decision that she and Nolin’s birth father made. She often mentions that it also helps her feel confident that she made the right decision as she sees him growing up happy. For me these days remind me how truly special the adoption process is and how fortunate we have been. It is also nice to be able to share all of Nolin’s accomplishments with them and see that they are both doing well.
This week, it also became quite evident that Nolin is now in the period of his life where milestones and changes are happening every day not every few weeks. Just this week alone, Nolin started clapping, waving hello and goodbye and picking up food on his own and feeding himself. It was always funny because Nolin will put anything in his mouth and would eat anything that you would feed him, but it never occurred to him that he could play a part in that process. He will sometimes grab the food in his fist and then try to suck the food out of his fist, but eventually he figures out that it is much easier if you just place the food in your mouth.
Friday night we took Nolin to the Hollerbach with the traditional German musicians and Saturday we went to the 2011 World’s Festival in which they showcased dancers and styles from all over the world. Nolin would just start laughing and clapping wildly at these performances. Jenn’s aunt noted that she is pretty sure he will be a performer of some sort.
As Nolin’s personality continues to develop and he becomes more of an individual the responsibility that I have to help shape the man he becomes is getting more clear. As we search for meaning in everything, I can’t help being thankful that all the events in my life (large and small) have led me to this place and I couldn’t be happier. Next week I am sure I will be back to stories of dirty diapers and awkward moments, maybe even the one about Jenn being told that Nolin has her eyes and eyebrows (which I guess means he gets the rest of his good looks from me), but for now I am just going to reflect on what a miracle my son is.