Thursday, October 9, 2008

One Year

A year is such an interesting quantity of time to me, a quantity that I can never completely wrap my head around. Or maybe that's the concept of time in general. Regardless, thinking about one revolution around the sun together makes me emotionally charged.

I remember so vividly my thoughts and feelings a year ago. I would like to tell you only about the part of me that felt so full of love that I thought I might burst. I know I felt that. Too full of love. But, the inability to really act on it was difficult. A feeling of helplessness. I had to keep telling myself, that all of the positive energy (love) I put out (as energy cannot be created nor destroyed) mattered. That somehow my scrumptious angel would feel the love. That somehow it would matter. That was tough.

When I first saw Jude's picture, I did love him. But, it was a panicky love, one that persisted for the next four months. One where I felt like I needed to instantly fly over to him and hold him. A panicky love where I feared that at any moment he could be taken away. That he wasn't ours yet, but he was. He was ours as much as we were his. He had my heart and obsessive brain from the moment we started the process. We were born and raised and loved and taught for no other reason than to be Judah's parents. This is really the only thing I know.

I can't believe it's been 8 months since I first held him. I also can't believe it's been ONLY 8 months. One year ago is when I became a mom. I think about his birth mom often. You know how your brain can't think about certain inevitable things TOO much? Well, that's how it is for me regarding Jude's birth mom. The pain she must have felt a year ago- the pain she feels today. The joy and privilege of becoming his parents is matched with the pain and loss she experienced. I know that so much of his sparkling personality is because of her. I now feel that same helpless love for her. I hope she feels it, I hope it matters. I wish she could just see him for a minute, know that he was ok. Know that he was warm and chunky and loved more that he can take. Know how brilliant and perfect we think he is.

We are planning on going back to Africa next summer. Although Judah won't be able to see his birth mom, I want him to see Ethiopia. I want him to be proud of his beautiful country. I'm still trying to figure out our itinerary, but I'm thrilled about the possibilities.

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, I'm working on a montage of him over the past year. Wow, has he changed!

Jude is now basically running. He is very proud of himself and this accomplishment. Judah has recently upped his love expression quotient. He now walks over and hugs people he loves no less than 425099 times a day. His facial expression when he is about to go in for the hug is serious and romantic. During the hug he has a big smile. The hugs feel so good they actually hurt. Our little dude is so good it's hard to take.
He is now wearing either 18 month or 2T clothing. Jude is stretching out. I'm not sure I'm a fan of the big stretch out. He still has a nice round tummy and thigh rolls, so I'm not too upset.

He still only has his two bottom teeth. The top ones are barely-visible-sand-grain-sized-morsels. I even love them.

Tommy says "I just love him so much!" at least 2958473 times a day. It's funny, I think we are both shocked at just how much the heart is capable of loving.


15 comments:

Heather said...

I'm allowed to cry at this post, right? Cause I am totally crazy tears streaming down my face and snot coming out of my nose in the office lady. I think I safely speak for the rest of the family when I say, thank you. Judah changed our lives, too - YOU changed our lives. And right up there with the unbelievable capacity for the heart to love is its ability to miss. I ache to see him do all these things, cross all these milestones, master all these new and exciting skills in the way only he can. He is so extraordinary - I think we're in for a lifetime of wonder with him.
xoxo - I miss you and Tommy too!

Jana Kunz said...

I just wanted to say that I thank you for sharing your family's journey. You two sound like amazing parents and the three of you are so lucky to have found each other. My your hearts be filled with many more children in the years to come. This love you and Tommy have needs to spread out even further! :)

J'Laine said...

I am having a hard time finding the words to respond to your post...especially since I had to reread certain sentances over, as it was hard to see through my tears. You and Tommy are such amazing parents and Jude is such a special gift. I feel so fortunate to have met your family and that Jude and Simret were family before we met them...I just wish we lived closer.

I love the line in your post "He was ours as much as we were his"...there isn't a better way to put it. I know that Simret was meant to find us and become part of our family...for that I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I miss you all...
jill

Dani Schmidt said...

I have been following your blog for some time now and always look forward to your posts. This one did not disappoint. You have a way with words. I too had to stop reading through the tears.
Thanks for sharing your story.

dani

Jocelyn said...

What a beautiful post Danielle...you express your feelings so well. It really is amazing the love that our hearts can hold and give.
Judah is loved by so many. We are all very lucky that you got that call a year ago...I sure couldn't imagine my life with out that sweet boy.
Miss you guys,
Joc and Pacey

Eastiopians said...

I am so glad that we get a glimpse into Judah's life and personality through your blog. Thank you for sharing some of him this way and for sharing your beautiful thoughts. He is such an amazing little fella and you guys are amazing parents.

susan said...

I am so very lucky to be his Grandma. When he walks over to me and hugs me, my day is complete. He is so full of love and generous with it.
XOXO

Nicole said...

I want a Judah hug so badly. December, December, December, December...

Celeste Flores said...

you summed up so eloquently that wonderful & desperate feeling that means you are someone's mama... miss you three already. xoxo

Drew Carey Show said...

Beautiful post! And that Jude of yours is one magnificent little man. We love him too! And you guys aren't so bad yourselves. Let's schedule a play date soon. Plus, I still have your pack & play and a little clay foot mold thing that Amy Breedlove made with Judah =)

courtney rose said...

Great write-up, friend. I especially appreciated your descriptive terminology re: the kind of panicky love you felt when you saw Judah's picture. Well said.

Congrats on your year- such an amazing, beautiful tale!

Mish said...

Danielle, you truly are such a beautiful writer. I am so proud of you and Tommy & the wonderful people you both are. You truly inspire me to do better, live better, be better! And Judah, my wonderful Godson, makes me feel so proud and lucky! I am so happy I get to watch him grow! (Just wish it wasn't from so far away!) Congrats on one year of Judah! I can't believe how time flies. Love you guys!

The Zimmers said...

What a lovely post! Thanks so much for sharing both the joys and the pains of motherhood and being Judah's mom! And, while I haven't even met Little Baby Zimmer yet, I too feel that I was born into this world and guided along this path for NO OTHER REASON than to be his/her mom! Crazy isn't it? That the clarity is SO clear! Love it!

jen said...

I'm just reading this post and I love it.
I know just what you mean about hugs that feel so good they actually hurt.
I'd love to hear more about your plans to travel back next year. Maybe you've already posted about that. I'm so behind...

nana said...

I am so touched by your words, Danielle. You are so able to express the feelings. And Judah gives back while leading the way! What an awesome family you all are. The pics say so much too. XOXO Nana