Today I did a bit more shopping for "T", and I was struck by how, all of a sudden, it feels very real to me that I will have three sons soon. Looking at 3 pairs of PJ's in the shopping cart, each one a different size, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that I will be allowed this chance to parent one more child. I think when you realize that you might not have ever had even one child, let alone a second or a third, you tend to have a deeper sense of appreciation for the experience of parenting.
For some reason, I am getting the biggest kick out of buying clothes for him, and I have been urged by Matthew to get matching clothes so I have a couple of outfits that I was lucky enough to find identicle in all 3 sizes. I haven't yet bought much in the way of toys or anything, as I realize we need to keep things low key initially. Of course, we will get a few small things but everything will be really scaled back for the immediate future as we don't want to overstimulate him. We have already prepared Matthew and Joshua that much of what they have will be put away for awhile and slowly brought out one thing at a time. We also discussed the need to keep the TV off limits for quite awhile as well as "T" begins to adjust to his new life and environment. So far, no real arguments from them about it.
This is very different than adopting an infant, I find myself thinking often about what his personality is like, what will be his special gifts in this world, I wonder if he will like his new family or wish he had been adopted by a different one. Adopting an infant you worry more about "baby" things like if you have enough diapers for the trip, what kind of formula they will like most. This time I am worrying about communicating with him, trying to come up with ways to encourage bonding and attachment, and wondering how I will ever understand what gaps there are in his life experiences and how can I begin to fill in those gaps.
When I allow my mind to wander down that road, I feel so inadequate. It is almost mind-boggling what challenges lay ahead, what this little guy will be going through. While I would love nothing more than to walk around in ignorant bliss thinking love will solve everything, I already know that is simply not true. Love can't fix everything, much as we'd all like to think so. I worry that I am not up to the task we are about to undertake. And yet I know God has already determined and made it quite clear that he is ours, so He must know something I don't, and I trust in that.
So we'll continue to prepare...to prepare for his arrival, to prepare Matt and Joshie for traveling, to prepare our hearts for whatever will come.
During these waning days of summer, new adults are slowly blossoming and, for one, childhood is very gradually beginning its tentative wave...