It felt like they were always ours. Sometimes my breath catches in my throat when I remember that my sons’ cousins weren’t always here; that they weren’t infants snuggled together on the same play mat while my sister and I discussed bottles and burping positions. Because now they are a part of each other. My sons and their cousins fight like siblings and literally ask to spend every single day together, but we weren’t always this lucky.
I remember the night we met the children that my sister was hoping to adopt. These three adorable little babies were strangers but it didn’t really feel like it. I picked the baby up first. He was tired and fussy. This was all new to him but he relaxed into my arms and fell asleep and I wanted him to be ours.
I remember the day that the adoption became official. It felt like a weight had been lifted from my chest…a weight that I didn’t even realize I had been carrying. These three children had become a part of our lives. They were at the hospital with my oldest two sons the day my baby was born, they celebrated birthdays and we made new family traditions with them. It was impossible to even consider that they might not get to stay so I didn’t. We laughed and we talked about bottles and bought houses in the same neighborhood. And when the judge said the adoption was official, it was like nothing changed, and like everything did.
My sons have cousins now. Three amazing little kids that fit right in. We take family vacations, we meet at the park, we swap kid’s clothes and my sister and I talk about raising children together, about how to handle tantrums and the awesome new things learned, the best birthday gift for a toddler, and where we should go for our next vacation. Adoption made this. It made my sister and I moms together. It made these three little strangers into family and it has been breathtaking to watch the bonds form.