A surprise gift

July 11, 2010 by nohandsbutours 10 Comments

I have a son.

Every now and then that statement still surprises me.

When my husband and I began the road to building a family through adoption from China, we simply assumed that we’d have daughters. (At the time we were oblivious to the fact that there were boys who were waiting for the love of a forever family).  Initially I was disappointed that there would be no little guy to toss a baseball in the backyard or take camping trips with his daddy.

However I quickly got over the letdown and began to build my vision of a houseful of little girls.  After all, I grew up with a sister.  My boy cousins lived three states away.   A few of my mom’s closest friends had boys, but I spent, at most, a few hours a week with any of them.  Based on my limited experience, boys were a totally different species.  They were loud, wild and unpredictable.  I asked myself why I would want to raise one and focused instead on all things pink and hair bows.

The path that brought my little man into my life didn’t happen all at once.  Slowly my eyes were opened to the waiting child program when we were paper chasing for our second child.  At that same time I became newly aware of friends who had raised kids with special needs.  And then I realized that there were indeed boys waiting to be placed in homes.

So we took a leap of faith and checked that we’d be open to a boy or a girl with various special needs in our second set of paperwork.  Less than two months after our second dossier had been submitted we were matched with a little boy from the shared list, and six months to the day from our LID we were stepping off the plane in Beijing, three days away from meeting our son.

Before he walked into my life I thought the phrase “Mama’s boy” had a negative connotation.  Now I fully understand how much love and affection can be behind it.

He has added a “rough and tumble type” of joy and exuberance for life to our formerly “pink and hair bows” existence.

He loves Lightning McQueen, potato chips, God, and his family ~ though not necessarily in that order.  He is amazingly strong, and quite clever.  What he lacks in size he MORE than makes up for in enthusiasm and determination.  What he does, he does with all his heart and might.  He is fast and impulsive, not always a great combination, but an accurate description.

I’ve found that many of my earlier ideas about boys are true.  He is usually loud.  There are times that I’d use the world wild to describe his mood.  And he is predictable only in that you can count on him to be somewhat unpredictable. He is “all boy.”

And yet, even though sometimes I question if I have what it takes to help mold this bundle of raw energy into a respectful young man, he’s stolen my heart and is an integral part of our family.  If I had stuck to my plans or preconceived notions, I would have missed him.  I’m so thankful for the things which opened my heart to possibilities I hadn’t seen and people, blogs, events, and God’s nudgings which overcame both our uncertainty of raising boys and our fears of “special needs” and allowed us to see each child as a unique gift from God.

Oh yes, I received a surprise gift.

I have a son. From China.

photos courtesy Tricia Roller Photography

10 Responses to “A surprise gift”

  1. Wife of the Pres. says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Both your post and especially your SON.

    Did you take these photos? They are beautiful too Kristi! I love the one where the sun is RADIATING off his entire person. Breathtaking really.

  2. Laine says:

    BEAUTIFUL BOY!
    These pictures capture Caleb's zest for life!

  3. Tricia says:

    Kristi, this post brought tears to my eyes. Caleb is indeed a gift. A "wild," "loud," "unpredictable" gift. What a blessing. I know he fills your days with unexpected joy (just as Andrew does for me :}). We love all of you!

  4. Jess and Tim says:

    Wonderful post Kristi!!

  5. Courtney says:

    LOVE your post! It's so true!! We started on a journey the same way, God nudged us in a different direction and now we have a son waiting for us in China to bring him home. Thanks for your encouraging words ;)

  6. TanyaLea says:

    Oh this post just brings joy to my heart and tears to my eyes. I do not 'yet' have a boy from China, since we just brought home Khloe. But I do have an 11 year old son, and certainly know all about the "joy of boy!" Our Dawson has always had the "mama's boy" syndrome, too… even now at age 11, he still likes to cuddle, allbeit less than when he was younger; but still, I'll take what I can get!! ;)

    This is a BEAUTIFUL post and so well written. Thank you for bringing attention to the many little boys waiting in China… there is so much joy out there to be had by anyone willing to open up their hearts and homes to these little guys!

    Blessings and Hugs,
    ~ Tanya

  7. Rita and John says:

    What a beautiful post and a really handsome boy! We feel so blessed to have had the same surprise gift in our lives. Thank you for writing such a terrific post!

  8. sierrasmom says:

    Oh my…what a beautiful litle boy…I too am thinking…boy…..just have to convince my husband!

  9. Anonymous says:

    He is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! He looks so joyful. So glad that you did not miss this little blessing!

  10. Mireille says:

    Such a handsome boy!! And I just have fallen in love with his smile, too cute for words!! What a great gift to life is this beautiful boy!! You are blessed!!

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