Thursday, June 25, 2009
It's not every day you get to hold a six-day-old baby. Meeting our new nephew this past weekend, I could not help but think that my two children were once that small. We actually have pictures of Aaron from that young, but it's hard to get perspective, because he already looked so outsized. Jada we have no photos of until she was about three or four months, and, even when we finally met her a few months later, she was small and undernourished but not pocket sized like Baby Nathan.
It is hard to imagine Jada at around that size if not smaller, being wrapped up tight and left outside on someone's porch at age three days. We do not trivialize the very real voids in our relationship with both our kids: that Amy did not carry either in her womb for nine months, that we did not have any contact with Aaron until he was five months old and Jada until she was seven and a half months, and that, particularly for Jada, their early months before meeting us did not consist of much human contact or physical stimulation.
But we are grateful for each of our children, and also that we were able to meet them so early in their lives. Despite not having those precious early months to bond with them, we do not consider them any less our kids than if we had had them biologically. The bottom line of parenting is that, however these precious lives end up in your lap, you love them with all you have. The job doesn't pay well, and the performance reviews are not often affirming; but the benefits are quite good.