At the risk of being blasphemous or schmaltzy, let me say this: when Asher smiles at me it is as if God is smiling at me.
Let me explain. The decisions to adopt, to choose an African-American baby, and to go through with the process after we learned more about the potential health risks that may affect Asher's birth/childhood/life - these were hard decisions over which Amy and I agonized. Were we really going to start all over with a newborn? We were not oblivious to the unique challenges we were entering into, of raising a black boy in modern-day America. And I can still recall that dreadful March day six weeks before Asher's birth, hearing new information about the possible hazards that might attend his arrival and/or his long-term wellbeing; that was a restless night filled only with me, God, a Bible, and the heavy silence that comes from having poured out your soul and having nothing left to say or hear.
Fast forward to the present and we know Asher made it into the world safely. We know that he is healthy so far. And while we are sober about his days ahead, we are ready for them, and we are buoyed up by the prayers and support of so many who have rallied around us, by which we are greatly moved and for which we are greatly appreciative.
When Asher smiles his sweet smile at me it is as if God is smiling on me. I receive in that smile a sorely desired message from Him, which is to let me know that Asher is OK, that it is pleasing to Him that we have made room in our lives for him, and that we are doing a good job so far. Most of all it is an expression from God to us that we are experiencing God's own joy in our joy over this beloved little baby boy. It is a smile that fills my heart with happiness, because it is not just a sweet sight from a beautiful child but because it contains that soft nudge from God that we have chosen well and done right. That smile is a soothing response to all the heartache we have endured and a foretaste of even greater delights ahead. O how I love that sweet smile of his.