this.

When Mark and I are "on our game" (which we are not right now), we like to do affirmations with the kids at the dinner table. Generally it involves us going around the table and saying a few things we like about each kid, and a few ways they have made us proud that day. We haven't done this since Kembe came home, and the other night as we were eating it occurred to me that we needed to include him in this tradition. I went around the table, saying the usual things. As we affirmed Jafta, and then India, and then each other, Kembe sat there quietly, with wide eyes and a curious look. I could tell he understood what I was saying and was watching with anticipation. Then, it was his turn. I told him in my best Krenglish how much I loved him, how funny he is, how nice he is to the baby, how handsome he is, and how happy we are that he is in our family.

Oh my word. If I could have somehow captured the look on his face at this moment, it would melt your heart. He just got this look about him that I've never seen. It was pure joy . . . just unadulterated excitement and pride and happiness. He was BEAMING. And seeing him, I just thought: this.

This is what every child longs for and deserves . . . the adoration and affection from a parent. This is why I spent the better part of a day sounding off at a small portion of a news program dissing adoption. This is why I get so frustrated with attempts to shut down children being placed in the home of a loving family, because of something like race, or location, or sexual orientation, or finances, or home size.

When you see a glimpse of a child getting it - this. This family thing. When that starts to click and you get to bear witness to it . . . I just don't think there is anything more beautiful.

19 comments:

  1. There isn't anything more beautiful. Great job.

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  2. I have tears in my eyes reading your story. Remembering some of our 'this' moments. Nothing sweeter.

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  3. Love this. And thanks for the affirmations idea.

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  4. Wonderful! And thanks for the plug...two moms here and knowing how deeply religious you are it is refreshing to hear that you are so open to alternative families. I love reading about your family! We do a similar thing here, we call it "High" "Low" everyone has to go around the table and say one high and one low. It really helps us keep perspective as some days it is really hard to find a "high" but we always do.

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  5. That's really awesome.

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  6. As silly as it sounds, all I can think to say is "you go girl!"

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  7. This just totally melted my heart.

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  8. Loved reading this today. Just beautiful.

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  9. I'm a lurker who is a friend of a friend of a friend. Thank-you for this post! It really encouraged me to do more of "this" with my own children. What an amazing story you have to tell.

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  10. Got teary reading this entry.
    Every child needs THIS.
    I love that you get THIS and give THIS to your kids.

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  11. love love love.

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  12. Really well said. :)

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  13. Love this. So sweet.

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  14. I can't read this without getting tears in my eyes! It makes me so anxious/thrilled/nervous/excited for our future adopted children!

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  15. thanks you for this post! I love your blog. My husband and I are just starting out in our adoption process, and blogs have been really great - for information and encouragement. this post just illustrates exactly our reasons for wanting to adopt. we have two biological children, so a lot of people seem to not understand why we want to adopt. this is why. I think in having children, we have seen so deeply how much kids need affirmation and love and stability. anyway, thank you so much for your blog, Kristen. I appreciate the stories - your family is beautiful.

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