He sits between us on a high stool, a small glass partition separating our little family from the busy baristas. The noise of the milk frother and calls of “half caf nonfat extra hot” fill the spaces of our conversation.
He holds his milk box in one hand and pats Aaron’s leg with the other. “Daddy,” he says. He reaches over and pokes my leg with his finger. “Mama.”
He repeats this a few times; this act of identifying us. Daddy. Mama.
And him in the middle, Harry.
It’s something he does a lot, pointing out that I’m mama and that Aaron is daddy.
Sometimes I hear him singsonging in his crib “daddy mommy daddy mommy daddy mommy.”
I know it’s a normal part of toddlerhood; a part of learning language and family formations.
But with adoption, it feels like something more.
I am not his mama because he was born to me, but because someone else relinquished the role and instead chose me to fill it.
Motherhood is sacred. It is, without a doubt, a holy calling.
It’s not just for him that I want to do the best job mothering I can do. It’s also for her. For when she lies down at night and rises in the morning and her heart whispers his name she will know in her mama gut that he is well. He is loved. He is cherished. He is learning. He is being led. He is protected.
He is safely in the very spot she chose for him; sitting between us, loved on all sides, part of a family.