He asked me for my digits!
In the middle of an unexceptional, ordinary day I was approached by a good looking younger man.
He made eye contact, smiled at me from across the room, and then approached.
He was confidant and walked with the ease of an athlete.
As he approached I could sense some hesitation, but with a burst of boldness he asked if he could get my number.
I wasn’t even put off by the hole in his sock or the dried ketchup in his hair…
My heart just melted when he said,
“Momma, can I have your phone number? I just want to be able to call you when I’m a grown-up dad.”
It has been a long road with Tyler. My handsome little man, who shuffled into my world with a guarded heart and a lot of anger at the world, has finally settled. When he moved in he bonded quickly and easily with Toby. He was a little boy who longed for a Daddy, but I was just the woman who was trying to take the place of the woman he had called mom for the last 2 ½ years of his life. I was the enemy.
It was a long road from the day he moved in to adoption day 9 months later. The first six months were filled with explosive temper tantrums and threats that he was going to pack his bags and leave. I remember the day that little 6-year-old boy carried all his worldly possessions out to the front porch to sell at his “yard sale” in an effort to raise funds for his departure. (He surprisingly had no sales that day.) 😉
The first year with us was filled with brokenness…broken toys, broken furniture, broken trust and broken hearts…and then slowly things began to change. Healing came. The process was so slow and the changes were so slight that you needed time-lapse photography to see it…
But it was changing, and getting better, and healing was taking place.
I began to notice that there were days between fights rather than hours, and tantrums were lasting 30 minutes rather than 300 minutes.
The peaks and valleys of our days weren’t so extreme and the journey evolved from a wild roller coaster ride into a quieter drive through the hillsides of Pennsylvania. We still had our ups and downs but the drops didn’t cause my belly to flip and I was no longer holding on with a white-knuckle grip.
The change was so subtle that I’m not sure when things got easier. I just looked down one day and notice I wasn’t holding on for dear life anymore…
I realized I wasn’t holding my breath…
I had finally exhaled.
Now, here we are 2 years later, and He finally calls me “Mom,” not only verbally, but in his heart. I am his Momma and he wants my digits!
I was so excited that I didn’t have the heart to tell him that “my number” was the same as his phone number. 🙂
This past year has been a “two steps forward, one step back” journey for our family as we have added Ozzie to the crew. Just when things were getting easier I find myself back on the roller coaster ride of adoption with Ozzie, complete with the peaks and valleys and white knuckle grips. I am amazed as I watch Tyler and his reactions to some of the stomach flipping twists and turns of Ozzie’s adjustment. I see him watching, and remembering his journey into this family, and I can now see how far he has come. It is a merciful reminder of God’s grace and the healing that takes place with time, unconditional love, and a lot of endurance.
It gives me hope, as I navigate these tough early months of adoption with Ozzie, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that Ozzie is ours, that with God’s grace healing will come, that bonding will happen, and he too will one day see me as his Momma…
and maybe even want my “digits.”