It's New Year's Eve, and I'm at home with my family (I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I really loathe New Year's Eve parties). We've been playing games, reading, being silly and generally having fun, but something else special happened tonight as well: I got to share pictures of my son's birth mom with him.
I have been saving these photos for years, waiting for the day when I thought Ben would be old enough to appreciate them. When we moved to South Africa, the photos were misplaced, and I've been praying to find them ever since. I finally found them today (in a pile of banking stuff, no less). The timing is perfect as Ben has been verbalising that he wished he knew what his birth mom looked like.
We had a really sweet time in my son's room, just talking and explaining and going over his adoption story once again. I wish you could have seen the look in Ben's eyes when he saw the photos for the first time; it was so precious. I was able to say, "Look, Ben - you have your birth mom's eyes and her beautiful brown skin." His eyes lit up (while mine teared up) and it was like a puzzle piece fell into place - one of life's mysteries was solved.
Ben belongs in our family, yes, but for eight years he's had to deal with the fact that he doesn't look like us; he's different in some ways. Tonight he was able to feel - albeit in an unconventional way - like he belongs. Some history and a sense of identity was cemented for him.
And that is a great way to usher in the new year - far better than any party, don't you think?