2 years old.

2 years old. The first birthday spent with us, his forever family. I have so many words that are roaming around in my head but the thoughts are so hard to put together.

When I think of FuMing’s birth, I wonder so many things. Little questions that are in the back of my mind about the day that he came into this world. But, what I do know, is that Ming was meant to be here, on this earth and the day of his birth brings about the ending of one family and the beginning of another. It is a day of tragedy and love combined to form the story of our son’s beginning. It is a day that comes with heartbreak and celebration. So many emotions that are the story of his life. Things he will have to process in his own time, in his own way. I pray that I can hold his hand, wipe his tears and grieve right alongside him. But, in the end, I hope that he can celebrate, celebrate his life. His life that wasn’t what God intended but is what it is.  A life full of beautiful and rich love.

I think of Ming’s birth family every single day, but on his birthday, it is more of a deep yearning, a hole in my heart and thoughts filled with wondering about them. Is today a day of fear and wonderment for them? Are their hearts hurting and their eyes filled with tears? Are they even able to lift their heads off their pillows today? Or do they feel a peace? I pray so many things for his birth family but, above all, I pray that they feel a sense of peace of knowing their son is okay. A peace that can only come from our Holy Father.

I often say that I left a piece of my heart in China, but actually it is more like a deep longing. A longing to know those who share the same DNA as my son. I desperately want to wrap my arms around his birth family and celebrate this little boy who is both their son and mine. And so on his birthday, we continue the search to find his birth family. A search that leaves our hearts aching. A search that keeps us up at night. A search that sometimes seems impossible. But, then we see a glimmer. A little glimmer that begins to answer questions and to help fill the void of the unknown.

Because although family is more than blood, knowing your biology and roots are something that every human deserves. Because in this world we live in, adoption is the result of brokenness and sometimes the truth will be harder than not knowing and often our fears keep us from seeking that which is real. But, when all is said and done, if I were a first mother, I would want someone to search for me. So, we push ahead, putting every little piece together in the hopes that one day, it will form a full picture. One in which brokenness was redeemed by love, where two worlds collide, where our son knows his first family and his forever family. I think so much about knowing them and embracing the imperfections that brought our families together with a bond that will never be broken.

And, then, I’m brought back to the here and now. To the feet pattering through the hallways and the shrieks of laughter that never end. I’m brought back to my boy running full force into my arms asking me to sing Happy Birthday to him, again. And, I watch him soak in this whole day, I see the joy in his smile because he knows that today is his day. We have sung Happy Birthday to him no less than 20 times and every time brings more joy to him than the time before. I see him opening every present and after each one is open, he runs into my arms and gives me the biggest hug. And, my heart swells. A deep love that only a mother knows.

This two year old of ours is a force to be reckoned with. He has the sweetest dimple on his cheek and eyes that speak to you. He radiates joy, pure joy. And, you can’t help but smile and laugh when your around him, he just has this aura that captivates your heart. And then he screams the loudest scream that you have ever heard in your entire life and you wonder if it’s the same child. And, it is. Because FuMing does everything with such enthusiasm. He wakes from his bed screaming and his feet never stop moving.  Because life for Ming is 100% or nothing. He doesn’t do anything half way, whether that is running as fast as he can all the time or screaming from the top of his lungs. He is fearless.

Ming is naughty, very naughty. So naughty that you can’t help but laugh to yourself as you are giving him the “did you really just do that” look. Ming loves the fish food. Specifically, he loves opening it and throwing it throughout the house like it’s confetti on New Years. He loves the dresser and opening the drawers so he can swing from them like he is a trapeze artist. He loves going into the bathroom and turning on the bathtub and then leaving it running only to take the shampoo bottle and pump it all throughout the house. He loves laying on balloons knowing that they will pop and, when they do, he will run to me in a shriek of terror seeking comfort only to turn right back around and lay on another one. The thrill keeps him going back for more. If it’s quiet, you know that Ming is either reading a book as sweet as can be or doing something so naughty that it will give you gray hairs the moment you see it. And, I can’t help but think how boring our lives would be without Ming in them.

So, on his birthday, I am overcome with honor. A deep feeling of gratitude that he is in our lives and that we get the privilege of raising him. I yearn for the piece of him that is on the other side of the world, to know those who brought him into this world. A day filled with so many emotions. But when I tuck him into bed at night, I know that I’m the lucky one that gets to wake up to those screams tomorrow and that is something that I don’t take lightly.

And, I can’t help but think that we could all use a little more Ming in our souls. To scream louder and cry harder. To laugh from deep within your belly and smile until your cheeks hurt. To never turn away from something for fear of failing but to take every challenge as an opportunity to experience life. Because if I’ve learned one thing from my little warrior it’s that no matter the challenges that life has thrown your way, you are still here living. And, what an opportunity it is that we get to wake up everyday and face the world.

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