The Thomas Family by Slidely Slideshow


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our Heart...

The night we told the boys that they would be getting a baby sister from China, I was unexpectedly nervous. Adoption was something Nathan and I had always talked about, but I realized that night that we had never talked about it with them. I felt guilty for 1) not talking more openly with our children about orphans, and 2) not doing more research about how to explain the adoption of a sibling to my children. I'm a researcher, so the fact that I hadn't at least read a book, research study, or blog post about this topic baffled me. I spotted an old globe that I had bought at an antique store a while back, and quickly decided that if I had trouble finding words to explain adoption to the boys, we could at least talk about where China was to get the conversation going.

I quickly taped construction paper hearts over the United States and China and my preparation was complete. Shocked by my nervousness but excited to share our news, I walked into the kitchen where Nathan was sitting at the table with the boys. I'm really not even sure how we started the conversation, but it was quickly evident that I didn't need to know the ins and outs of explaining adoption to my five-year-old, because his sweet, innocent little heart was already there, way ahead of me. He understood what it meant that there was a little girl on the other side of the world waiting for a mommy, daddy, and big brothers. He understood that God gave us big hearts with lots of love in them to share. He understood that she didn't have to grow in mommy's belly in order to become part of our family. He understood. Not only was he understanding, but within minutes he was beaming with joy and pride as he talked about his baby sister. 

We asked him what he thought we should name her and his response brought tears to my eyes. He thought long and hard and then answered..."well, I think all of the girl names are taken, Mommy. But we can name her Heart, because I know I'm going to love her." Since that night not a day goes by without Weston talking about "Heart". He has told strangers at Starbucks, all of his friends and teachers at school, and anyone else who will listen. It is a bit confusing to hear him tell it, but I just let him talk. I can't get enough of his excitement. He points out hearts everywhere we go (and they are suddenly everywhere). The other day we even had a giant puddle in the perfect shape of a heart right outside our front door. He weaves her into his conversations as if she has been a part of our family since the beginning. 

Here's the thing: I know adoption isn't simple, but I'm trying more often to take a step back from all the research, worry, and waiting. I want to enjoy these moments of excitement and wonder. I want to be right there with my children as their eyes are opened to a world far beyond what they have ever known. It's a world that desperately needs the love that we have to share. And for now, it's a world that holds our Heart.