Every time Paul and I gather in the school gym with a bunch of other families, I am reminded of how lucky I am to be a mom.
At times it seems like these kiddos have been in our lives forever but then I’ll suddenly recall the years I spent worrying and wondering if I’d ever be a mom. The pain of those years then comes back to me in a rush. I remember wanting to be a parent so bad, to be able to experience all those things that parents do, both good and not-so-good, fun and not-so-fun.
And then in the very next moment, I remember how Claire and Ren’s arrivals in our lives immediately erased all those worries and heartaches. We were parents! We had become parents, not in the way we’d always assumed, but through adoption to two kids who are more wonderful and miraculous than I ever could have imagined. I am so lucky to be a mom … a mom to these kids.
The wonder of international adoption is that it has opened up our lives to more than simply parenthood. Never would I have imagined that before I turned forty, I’d have already travelled to China three times. Never would I have guessed I’d be celebrating Chinese festivals and looking up mooncake recipes. Never would I have thought my children (and myself and Paul, intermittently) would be learning to speak and read Mandarin. Never would I have imagined myself sitting in a school gym listening to the principal address the diverse crowd in both English and Mandarin. Never would have I guessed it that I would be so lucky.
This year’s Christmas Concert had a beautiful theme: holiday celebrations throughout the world. Ren hit the stage before Claire. Here he is as he caught sight of me and Paul:
Ren’s class represented Germany in the concert. They sang “Oh Christmas Tree”, “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” and “Away in the Manger”. Good actions and expressions, Ren:
Claire came on stage next along with her classmates and the kids in the grade from the English stream. They represented Mexico. They sang “Open these Doors” and “Enter Pilgrams”.
They also did a dance to a tune that we all know … I don’t know the name of it, but it’s the one that Speedy Gonzales dances to in Looney Tunes!
As cold as it may be to have venture outside, as crowded as that gym is, as long as the program may be, I will always be grateful for the opportunity to sit in that school gym and experience this rite of passage for parents of school-aged children. I am a lucky mama indeed.