Thursday, November 3, 2011
I don't know that it's so much that I've dreaded this day. I just knew when it arrived I would find myself torn between embracing the joy and mourning the loss of a childhood gone too quickly.
Quinn is now taller than me.
I know, I know...you're thinking 'Seriously? All this drama for that?!" And I agree.
Who doesn't want their son to grow up to be a tall, strong, handsome man? Seriously?! And he is quickly doing that.
But at the same time I feel like we just brought him home from Russia yesterday...how am I supposed to even begin thinking about releasing him out in to the big, bad world?
Those are questions to be answered another day. For now I'm going to concentrate on the joy.
And for me the joy comes in getting to know the man he is all-too-quickly becoming. I had a glimpse of it the other day...and while it didn't surprise me, it made me so thankful, once again, that God chose to give Quinn to Shad and I through the blessing of adoption.
Quinn and his friends were hanging out last Friday when the talk turned to things of a spiritual nature. One of the friends is a professed athiest (although how he could truly be one at the age of 13 is beyond me.) The boys, all from strong Christian families tried talking to the young man, making a case for God - trying to share with him their faith and just what He means to them.
By the time we picked Quinn up an hour later, he was upset. He began telling us about the conversation and about how worried he was for his friend. Worried about his future...and where this boys' choices are taking him.
I was amazed at the glimpse I had of man I think Quinn is starting to become. A man of absolute conviction with a heart of compassion for those he knows are heading down the wrong path. And it did this mama's heart good. A LOT of good. Especially when I think about the little boy we brought home more than 12 years ago. A little 14-month-old tike who didn't want to be held, or rocked, or read to, or comforted. He couldn't stand touch and wanted only the basics from me - food...lots and lots of food (that part hasn't changed) and a tippy cup full of milk at all times.
He really felt like he could do without all the cuddling, rocking and overall mothering...and had absolutely no feelings for anyone around him. Shad and I didn't matter...the dogs didn't matter. All that mattered was food and milk - the basics - because he hadn't had much of those basics in all of his 14 months. The orphanage scars weren't just the emotional ones. There were physical ones as well. Quinn was scrawny...malnourished, really. With a mild case of rickets and no meat on his bones.
In a matter of months we had fixed the physical issues. His constant hunger helped him gain five pounds and grow two inches in six weeks. The constant milk and extra Vitamin D erased the signs of rickets...and his skin lost the pale, sickly color and took on a healthier glow.
But the emotional scars were harder to erase. Over the next two years, Quinn and I worked to break down that barrier. He slowly started letting me rock him, he began letting me comfort him if he was hurt, he would occasionally run up to me for no reason and quickly give me a peck on the cheek...and he'd wait patiently for his dinner - but he still ate A LOT.
Over the last 12 years I have watched my hurt little guy grow into a tall, handsome young man with a heart for those in need and an absolute conviction of right and wrong.
Not that he always chooses right. Quinn is far from perfect. There are days I want to string him up by his toes. The adolescent snarkiness is there. He loses patience with his brother and sisters...and can be pretty moody at times.
But most of the time, the real Quinn comes through. The kid with a big heart and an even bigger smile.
The boy who will, every once in awhile, still walk up to me and for no reason in particular, give me a quick peck on the cheek. ;)
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