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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nom raj din ya - Happy birthday my son

To MY Son on your Birthday,
Waiting for his friends to arrive

Corbin's "girlfriend" from school and Ash...

the fray of opening gifts


Twin brother is watching you Corbin... that smile is a bit too smug for Coop :)

The moment he was waiting for - cake #2

everyone needs a piƱata!

all of C's peeps

2 diggers and a Mama.  Good day all 'round

Cake #1 - family party


What a difference a year makes.  On May 19th last year I boarded an airplane bound for Russia with onward connections to the rest of my life.  After meeting you at Christmas 2009, I confidently planned on being back in time to celebrate your 3rd birthday.  In my heart you were mine and I couldn't fathom you spending another one without a Mama.  That date was 5 months away - it couldn't possibly take that long to get a court date right?  With every delay and snafu the grip on my heart tightened as I watched that likelihood start to disappear.  When I was notified of my court date, my facilitator happily announced that I would be able to see you on May 24th... the day after your birthday.  I said no.  Full Stop.  Nyet. Non. Not gonna happen as in - are you seriously serious??? She knew your birthday was the 23rd and had heard my repeated chants for months of, "I need to be back there by May 23rd".   I simply stated that I was happy to leave a few days early and spend extra time in country so that I would be able to be with my son on his birthday.  I could feel her eyes roll here in Canada but she complied and I arrived in time to visit on the 22nd.  That night after our long awaited reunion, I made the trip to the upstairs toy department at the Komsomolsk Super Mart where I bought small trinkets to give you in the play room. 
"Nom Raj-din-ya"... I beamed, but your smile had little to do with an understanding of the celebration that implied.  I brought bananas and cookies and corn puff snacks that looked like no cheese cheesies to share with the other children.  They were quietly handed off in the dark hallway with no fanfare or even much of a thank-you.  I felt like a birthday to the Baba's simply meant another baby in a numbered crib... another mouth to feed.  My Nom-raj-din-ya... the only interest in the day anyone had likely shown but to me, it was every moment I had waited for.  You in your bright orange sweatshirt and overgrown hair were the most beautiful birthday boy I had ever seen.  We played inside with your new Russian leggo and train puzzle and my heart was home.  I made it there like I promised I would.


I couldn't wait to share a lifetime of happy birthdays with a boy - MY boy who so richly deserved someone to celebrate the day he came into this world.  Today, we did that, and again, my heart was home.  Yesterday you watched as we tried in stealth mode to put together your play house (which isn't so stealth after 4 or 5 hours?) and didn't believe a word of it when we tried to convince you it was just a big dog house for Ryan the neighbor's dogs.  Watching you vibrate and squeal, "For ME?????  THANK YOU!!! I love it... It's my FAVORITE!!!"  can't be beat.  Last year your home was a room full of cribs with numbers painted onto them, this year, you want to sleep in your house outside.  Last year you melted my heart when you quietly counted to three as we jumped from the tires in the playground, this year as I tucked you in tonight, you melted my heart as you reached for my face, nodding my head side to side and recited the song from your favorite bedtime story, "I rock you back and forth, back and forth back and forth.  I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my Mama you'll be.  Thank you for my birthday cake.  Today was my favorite day ever Mama".  Oivey... the tears.  What a year.  What an amazing year.  You have grown, you have loved, you have come home in every sense of the word.  
I can't close this post without a hard thank you to a woman and a man in Selihino Russia who gave me the greatest gift I will ever know.  You weren't perfect, but you gave my son life and contributed qualities that make him the little boy I adore today.  I'll never know if it's his resiliency and ability to "go with the flow" that came from a bumpy start in life with you or perhaps his great laugh and associated grin to give you thanks for.  Maybe I should thank you for his beautiful grey eyes and health.  Perhaps his charm came from his birth Mom or his strength from his bio Dad.  I will never know but what I can say is thank you for allowing me to parent a boy who was meant to be mine.  Without you, there would be no Corbin... and without him... well... I'd be less of me.  Thank you.  In an imperfect way, in an imperfect life I thank you for my son.  I don't know if he will cross your mind, but forever, on this day, you will cross mine.