I'm sort of funny when it comes to milestones. I always celebrated when my kids hit 9 months-old because it meant they had been "on the outside" as long as they were in. I already know that when I turn 36 (a really reallllllly long time from now. Or 2 years. You can choose), I'll have lived in the South as long as I ever lived in New England. I know that when I turn 48, I'll have been a Cassell as long as I was a Johnson.
Next month, Amani will have been home 15 months. He'll have been home as long as he was ever away from us.
And last night, I got to see this picture (thanks to an amazing FB group for folks who have adopted from ET through our agency):
Amani was almost nine months old when we got our referral. We've never seen any earlier pictures of him. He is seven months old in this picture! HALFWAY to when he'd come home. So fitting for my weird obsession with halfway points.
This was such a gift! When you don't adopt at birth, you always wonder about those days before you became a family. My heart still yearns for the baby I never got to cuddle. He never knew me in the days when he needed so much care. I never got to be his main mode of transportation before he could walk. I missed all of the middle of the night feedings and snuggles.
I have no newborn pictures. No "the first time you stood up" or "the first time you ate solid food" pictures. I don't have a picture of the first time he clapped his hands or rolled over.
But now we have this one. He's so tiny! My heart hurts because I missed out on being mama to this tiny sweet babe, but this picture brings me so much joy!
Being a part of the adoption community is amazing. It's like having more family (the good kind... ha!). The mama who sent this picture out didn't know he was mine. She just knew she had a picture of a cute kiddo whose mama would probably LOVE to see a picture. And she took the time to post it on the chance I might be out there somewhere. Actually, another adoptive mama-friend of mine saw it and alerted me. I'm telling you, these adoptive mamas are awesome.
And she made my day!