I remember when I delivered my first three children, the moment the nurse placed each one in my arms, the moment I put him to breast, the moment he nursed for the first time, the way my touch and my smell comforted him, the perfect fit of co-sleeping, and the way from the moment of arrival each would nuzzle into me as though it was the safest haven. There was a meshing. A melting in of sorts. A sense of belonging. As moms, those are the moments that convince us to forge into the next pregnancy and preserver through delivery.
In all the beauty of parenting through adoption, one of the things that did not initially emerge was that amalgamation. Not that there wasn't a hope. Not that there was a bond. But the innate, inherent enmeshing was not inceptive. I wasn't even sure it would come. I didn't know how much I missed it.
The first month together, Mezekir deplored rocking to sleep and cuddling. He preferred banging his head against a mattress. At night, he found comfort only in his bottle and a song. Slowly, he allowed us to rock him to sleep, yet in the midst of upset and angst, his solstice remained in solitude, self-soothing with a bottle or pacifier. As of late, Mez has learned to love my arms, my lap, my protection. It has just been within the last week that we have marked a revolution... those small markers that when they hit you realize how much you'd longed for them...without even realizing it. Those split-second occurrences rekindle the "new mom" feelings that remind us it was partly for this that we were created.
For the first time, four days ago Mezekir laid his head on my shoulder, placed his brown, pudgy hands on my bare arms, began to rub them, and drifted off to sleep. I immediately recognized the milestone. One step closer. According to my attachment parenting ways, I've craved the sound of him sleeping on my chest and the feeling of our rhythmic breathing while I hold him and take in the fleeting moments of "now". For the last five nights, Mez has done just that. Now, around the house, he teeters up, grabs a knee, and lifts his hands to be held. But the best remains. He's happier. He's comfortable. He knows he's ours and we are his. No more avoiding eye contact. No more turning from side to side to prohibit others from engaging. Something is different. And I like it.
It occurred to me, so much of this is deep seeded from the beginnings of his life. It also occurred to me that I don't fully understand who he is, what life really is/ has been for him, or will be. In my love for him I have overestimated my ability to empathize and understand. But today, something is different, and I like it.