As I relished every moment, I wondered what would be the highlight of my amazing first Mother's day with all five of my beautiful children.
It came early.
As we always do on Sundays, we went to church. Our service begins with several worship songs, and I love this form of prayer. One of the songs had a chorus that said "I love you, I love you." This was written to be directed at God, but since it was so fitting, I opened my eyes and made eye contact with each of my kids, one by one down the row, and sang the words "I love you" to them.
Back to my eyes closed praying, the next verse of the songs goes "I need you, I need you." I was deep in prayer, but I felt a small tap on my shoulder. Quiet Ruthie, always sitting the furthest from me, was trying to get my attention. She looked deep into my eyes (eye contact is not common for her) and sang the words "I need you, I need you" while pointing at me and smiling.
Pop - there goes my heart bursting.
This may not sound like a big deal to you, but you should know that of all my children, Ruth is the most distant. Since her adoption, she has been the slowest to bond to us. She avoids affection and hugs. She won't tell us what she needs. When she first arrived, things were very bad. She had been so hurt so many times that she told my husband "I don't respect any women" and she would barely speak to me. She did not want my love, my discipline, my guidance. She had lived years without a mother she could depend on, so she wasn't going to risk trusting now.
But slowly, very slowly, she has come to open her heart like a blossoming flower. She will tell me things now, and ask for my help, and even hug me every once in a while (but not for too long).
So when she looked at me with those huge chocolate eyes this morning and happily sang "I need you", I knew we had arrived. I was her Mom, and she was my daughter, and she was OK with that. My joy was complete.