It still holds fast as one of my favorite pastimes and I cannot think of Laura's theatrical arm flails without smiling.
Today, I wish said bestie was available for one last encore performance (okay, maybe not last performance) as our small family heads to the Rocky Mountains. My bags are packed I'm ready to go. I am so excited.
I get all sorts of unsure stares and questioning smiles when I tell people we're headed to see Ty's mom. I get the occasional correction, "Oh, Rebekah, you are Ty's mom." Like I need to be told. Or I hear, "Wow. You guys are just so amazing." Again, like I need to be told. KIDDING. We are not extraordinary for accepting Rebekah into our family. She's family. We're acting normally. Most of my family lives out-of-state and we do our best to make yearly visits. Not out of obligation, but love. It's the same with Rebekah.
We are not flying to Colorado for her. We're flying to Colorado because we miss and love her. And we know there is one boy, in particular, that she is aching to hold, again. And I'm aching to watch. I know what she has sacrificed and missed these many months...
It's time to bring this family back together!
This week is special for me. We met Rebekah for the first time. These were my words, this time, last year:
We’re walking down the corridor of her apartment complex. Ben looks and me and says, “This is not normal. What we’re doing here, it’s not normal.” I know. I try to avoid eye contact to keep my emotions in check. Why is it that our most emotional conversations happen in hallways? I took a deep breath, threw him a quick I-love-you-to-the-ends-of-the-earth glance, and emphatically said, “We can do this.”
He knocks on the door; she opens. Rebekah. Our baby’s mama. All these weeks of talking and emailing and loving…and there she is. I squeeze her as hard as I can and wish I never had to let go. The next 10 hours are a whirlwind of activity as we treat the kids to a day of fun (go carts, laser tag, mini golf, etc).
Love is a funny thing. In its presence, the world doesn’t exist and when your heart morphs back to reality it’s changed for the better. One of Rebekah’s daughters kept hugging me throughout the day. As we snuggled close in a double-seated go cart, she leaned her head on my shoulder and whispered, “I’m so glad you’re part of our family, now.” As I choked back tears, all I could muster was, “Me too.”Our last goodbyes to Rebekah, two months later, were no less emotional. After spending three weeks with her, last June, I had to muster the courage to say goodbye, not knowing when we'd ever meet again:
You can only imagine the goodbye emotions of two mothers…over one son. Our love for him the very same. It was so hard.
We both put on big girl faces. Our goodbye was brief. Our tears real - but limited. I know she was holding back…because I was too. If I had opened the floodgates of my heart, I wouldn’t have been able to leave.
We shared lingering hugs. All I could say was, “There aren’t enough words to thank you.” She nodded her understanding, behind a veil of tears. I promised her that we would give Ty our all…and thank her with his life.
I am teary thinking back to those days. In both those visits, our emotions and nerves were high. We might still be emotional, this time around, but it will be nice to relax in the security of our friendship. My last vision I have of Rebekah is kissing Ty, cheek to toe, drinking in his softness. My heart is thrilled to add chasing and giggles to those memories, as the boy she remembers has changed much.
I feel like a kid. I can't wait for her to hear his laugh and tickle his belly...to experience his sweetness. And to witness the fro-hawk. Pictures and videos just don't do his life justice.
I have worked hard to guard my heart against expectations. (On Ty's end, not Rebekah's). The mom in me wants Rebekah to experience the son in him. I know it's been 10 months, but deep down I want Ty to know her. I want him to feel rooted and home.
I know that he's young and shy and quick to the mommy shoulder cling, but I also know that my son possesses a deep, soulfulness. He is affectionate and loving by nature. An understanding in his eyes.
Either way, this is going to be good. God is not finished with our family. Rebekah. Ty. Ben. Me. There is more to come. This is an important chapter.
I won't keep you in the dark. Videos and pictures and heart stirrings to come....