We're celebrating today because it's official, and that's important for a thousand different reasons, but you've been family since mere hours after you were born, and really, deep down, it feels like you've been family even before that. You were born into bravery, and while I cannot yet articulate to you how important and powerful that is, all you need to know now is that two mothers loved you so much that they chose you over everything else. Two women, one I know and love, and one I can only be eternally grateful to from afar, put aside their fear for as long as they could to ensure that you made your way home.
This week we Skyped during bath time and you clapped the water with your hands with such conviction and rhythm that all I could do was remember the way your mother did the same thing when she was a baby. Your grandmother and I would sit around the tub and do everything we could to make her laugh so that she'd splash some more, and every time her chubby baby hands hit the water, we'd clap and cry out, and she'd laugh even more. I listened to you laugh and watched you look toward your mom and dad, and I knew, again, as I have from the minute I saw you in their arms, that you were all meant for each other.
Tomorrow your mom and dad will be a mess of tears and deeps sighs of relief, so much has been taken from them these past few years, and in the flutter of it all, you might wonder what's happening, so here is what I'd like you to know when you look back at photos of this day you likely won't remember: you are loved by a tribe who comes to you not by way of blood, but instead by way of a choice, a choice made so completely that it hardly seems like one at all. It's a kind of magnetic connection, one which pulled you into a mix of people who are all so beautifully and completely different, and all committed to you and your life, and to helping you make your way.
I have a photo of your grandmother, my mother, holding you not too long after you were born. You're looking up at her as if she's the most magical and confusing thing you've ever seen, and because you won't be lucky enough to remember this yourself, let me tell you she was both those things, and so much more. I remember feeling so grateful that she stayed with us long enough to meet you, to hold you, to see your mom hold you, and to say with complete certainty that you'd been on your way along, and thank god you'd finally made it. Sometimes I think that you were her last, best gift to us, one immensely bright light coming into the world as another was leaving it, both of you with the ability to make your mom laugh so hard I bet she almost pees herself more times than she'd care to admit.
I tell you all of this not because it's easy, but because it's true, because when you wonder how you got to where you are, I want you to know that it was because of love, and that the same love that brought you here, will take you everywhere you need and want to go, you need only to be brave enough to accept it. Ben, I believe you are brave enough to be whoever you want to be in this world, and if you forget all that is possible, if you forget how brave and mighty you are, I will be here to remind you, and to love you to your next step.
Oh, Ben, the world is better with you in it, and your parents lucky to have found you, and you them (you really did win the lottery in the parent department), and I wish I were there with you today to watch your little scrunched up nose twitch when you laugh, but distance is only miles on a map, and I will be loving you from here so much that I'd wager you can feel it any time you like.
Happy Adoption Day, Benjamin Poe, the paperwork now says what we always knew was true - you're one of us, and we couldn't be more thrilled.
Love from the woman who will spoil you for life even when your mom yells at her not to with her scary voice,