While in the thick of it, I hardly saw my children. As you might suspect this was hard for the girls since we'd only recently returned from Ethiopia, really hard on Yonas when we were just beginning our journey of attachment, and excruciating for Erik who became a single parent of four overnight. We continued to receive meals and offers of play dates which helped a lot, but Erik was left to care for Yonas on his own. And frankly, this is still a boy one needs to have regular breaks from. (I'd like now to offer up all kinds of respect and awe to the single parents out there---Cindy, Shannon, etc; I bow down before you.)
So while laying in bed I had some time to think. Here's what I thought about: Injustice. How many people throughout history have died of pneumonia. I thought about pioneer women. How many mothers would have had to keep on keepin' on until they couldn't any longer and then eventually died. How I got to rest in bed and watch movies on a laptop. I thought about how many people with AIDS have died of pneumonia and how ashamed the United States should be for its startling lack of monetary contribution to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. I thought about how many people all over the world right now are dying of pneumonia because they don't have access to medication. I thought about Ethiopia and her people. Of Yonas and his orphangemates. Of their respective birth families and what would happen if they contracted pneumonia. I thought, I'm so thankful.
When I remember we have only been home for three weeks, I am astounded by the progress we have made as individuals and as a family. Yonas has settled in a bit. He is a sweet, funny, affectionate boy that has the same capacity for delightfulness that Eden has. Except when he's not. His tantrums are lessening in frequency and length, but they are still a daily matter. Erik brought him so far in the time I was the sickest. But Yonas and I have work to do together. The work he has done with Erik doesn't transfer automatically to me. So yesterday, when I offered him a bite of soup he found disagreeable, he tantrumed. He went to the pantry and found the Swiffer. He slammed it on the ground in a threatening way for my benefit. When I turned my back to ignore the ugly, he hit me over the head with it. He is that boy.
He is also the boy that puts his chubby hands on both of my cheeks and pulls my mouth to his. The one that lifts my shirt so he can rest his head on my bare belly while he sucks his thumb. The one that belly laughs for his Papa and hugs Ava. The one that loves his car seat and being outside, the one that freely pours water over his head in the bath and has learned the words bubble, toot, mama, donkey and the sign for more since being home. He is that boy too.
The most important thing I thought while I lay in isolated sickness was this: I miss him. I would be lying if I said that I don't have moments of doubt and pessimism and anger. I do. But I missed the weight of his body on mine, his skin, his Yonasness.
And for that, this beginning of falling in like, I am thankful for pneumonia.