Thursday, June 14, 2007

Creating Memories of Vu

We thankfully received several pictures of Vu as a baby and toddler. These are so very precious! I have studied each picture intently, ingraining them into my soul.

When I came upon my favorite baby photo, the one I framed, I just wanted to reach out and touch that downy fur that stuck straight up. That picture reminded me, like no other, of the time we have lost with this sweet child. Years. A lifetime.

We adopted Kim when she was 6 months old and Paul at 9 mo. Again, I had the sense that we were missing out on first smiles, first teeth, and in Paul's case, first words. (At 9 months he already said 8 Korean words!) But we didn't miss out on their first steps or their first birthday, or their first day of preschool or their first time riding a bike. With Vu, we have missed out on all of these.

As I looked at that sweet baby duckling, I felt sad knowing what I missed. But then, I realized that I know what down feels like. And if I close my eyes I can imagine touching Vu's little baby head and the feel of his petite, warm baby body in my arms. I can imagine him doing and achieving every little milestone.

I see myself beaming as he takes his first steps--and the look of pure accomplishment in his own eyes. I feel a two-year-old, with an orange Popsicle stained mouth, cuddling up and content after a summer day of play. Me, snapping pictures at each birthday, his siblings clapping encouragement as he blows out his growing number of candles. His dad, pushing him ever higher on the backyard swing with me saying, "Be careful! Not too high!"

I've missed out on a lot. But I can either lament it, or I can make up my own happy memories to fill the void. I'll choose the "memories."

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