Today started early with a very exuberant young man eager to open up the presents he was fairly certain were awaiting him in the kitchen. The presents were there, but when we ventured downstairs, he became a little overwhelmed by it all and opted to wait to indulge until his brother woke up (a cool hour-and-a-half later).
In the meantime, Oscar hung out with me on the front porch, watching me give the leggy petunias a very necessary if not harsh haircut. He helped me water with his own watering can, asking me to rinse it first because it had spent a little time in the sandbox.
When Edgar awoke, we ran upstairs, and Oscar began to sing his own variation on the birthday song as we ascended: “I’m four. It’s my birthday. Oh, yeah.” And back down we came–quickly. What was waiting for our birthday boy in that bag was a collection of all his true favorites–Bob the Builder, Buzz Lightyear, Shrek, Mack from the movie Cars, Wall-E, and some knights in shining armor. Mack emerged as the one that caught the most attention, especially when we opened the truck and a veritable paddock for Lightning McQueen was revealed.
We hung out in the backyard for the better part of the day. Oscar dined on his own blend of luncheon delicacies: a cheese sandwich and a chocolate milk. Then the inevitable nap! The day concluded with dinner at Applebee’s with Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie Paula, Emelia, and Emelia’s cousin Faith. More gifts were bestowed, including a robotic arm from Grandma and Grandpa and Lego from Auntie Paula. When we got in the car at the conclusion of our meal, Oscar declared, “This was a great day!”
Today we talked a lot about what we were doing four years ago on this day: Don was working, I was getting Oscar’s room ready, my brother had stopped by to say hello as did MaryBeth and her children. The phone rang at approximately 10 AM. It was our social worker telling us our son had been born. At 5 PM we headed to the hospital to meet him. The nurses brought him to the window, and Don and I naturally cried happy tears at the sight of him. We told the woman who had just given birth who was standing next to us admiring her own child that we were going to adopt this baby. She began to cry, the nurse put her hand over her heart and invited us in–behind the glass. We then spent a delirious couple of hours with Oscar–never knowing the meaning of the word “delirious” until this moment. Oscar loves this story and seems to thrive on the repetition of the details. Today is his birthday. And every day on August 17th we will remember and tell this story. It is his–and ours. What a gift of fate that we all found each other.