Thursday, August 04, 2011

What's in a Name...and Little Brother

I was searching through old financial records the other night and came across a file with all of Colt's hospital records at his birth. Standard procedure in adoptions is that the baby is identified with his birthmother's last name at the hospital...relinquishment is normally long after all are checked out of the hospital, and he was not our child legally. Even after we left the hospital, we were caring for him but we were not legally his parents. He was someone else's little boy.

Colt's birthmother listed his full name with Anderson on his original birth certificate. But the hospital records list him as "Baby Boy" J (her last name). It hit me like a ton of bricks. It's really the only record where his name is something other than Anderson. And to see him referred to as Baby Boy instead of Colton...

It was a glimpse into a different life. How different a path he could have had. What a different person he would be. For most of us, a different name wouldn't change who we are. But for adopted children - the difference in name means a different life.

Not a bad life, I know he would be loved and cared for. But a different life and different family and different house and different love. It was a lot for me to take in. It also brought back a lot of emotions as I remembered how complicated that time in our life was. So, so worth it...but it was just so complicated.

Who would he be if we were not his parents? Who would WE be if he was not our son?

Shortly after that emotional hard hit, I got an e-mail from Owen's sweet, sweet teacher. Owen is moving into the next class at school next week and leaving my favorite (and his favorite) teacher. She wrote to tell me how much she will miss him and how much she has fallen for our little blonde-haired man.

She went on to explain how happy, joyful, jolly, laid-back he is. How all her stories to her husband begin with Owen. How he fills her day with so much joy. She said he reminders her of herself, which really sent me over the edge because that's one of the biggest compliments I could hear because she is just that wonderful. She's full of joy and is so kind and gentle. I love the thought of Owen being a little Mrs. A.

She gets him. She understands him, even though he doesn't talk. She communicates with him, she sees him as a leader in the class and watches how helpful he is, how kind he is to his friends. She really gets him.

So, of course I got weepy. But then it was made even harder because I realize that she sees the "him" that not even John and I get to see very often. She sees him as Owen. Not ColtandOwen. He's not with his big brother, she didn't know Colt before. She just knows sweet, wonderful Owen. I get sad that we don't spend enough one-on-one time with him. He's a different kid when not competing for attention. It's not a bad thing, he's just more laid back and Colt is an attention hog!

Also, I wonder if we'd be more patient, more understanding with Owen's speech delay if we didn't have the boys so close in age. It's so easy to get caught up in what Colt's doing and what Owen isn't. Mrs. A doesn't see that...she is able to stay patient because Owen is who he is.

We are BLESSED to have the teachers that the boys have. I don't take them for granted. But I am very, very sad he's leaving her. He is a special, special boy and I love it when he's "favorited".

Don't know what it is lately, but I'm just overcome with emotion and my heart is just full with my family. I'm just so thankful for THESE children. I'm thankful I'm COLT and OWEN's mom.


alison said...

And they are lucky to have you as their mom! You've got two handsome and smart boys, momma! It's so wild to think of "where Colt would be" if he weren't with you (it's kind of like I think about what would have happened if we got pregnant any one of those times before B, we wouldn't have B...). I'm glad God can see our lives for the bigger pictures they are, because I certainly couldn't have dreamed we'd be so lucky!

andrea said...

they are SO lucky to have you as their mom!!

Leah said...

I loved this post. :)

As another mama who has babies close in age, sometimes I also miss that I don't get to spend much one on one with either, and most people in our lives know them as a group, and not individually. I love that you think about all these things. :)