Here we are, past our largest milestone, with no need to count down to anything anymore. Here we are, living our days the same as before.
I want to say "Thank You" to all of our friends and family who came to our home to help us celebrate a monumental day for our family of six. Thank you to everyone who pitched in to make it great, who brought gifts when it wasn't necessary and those who showed up and showed support. We love you all.
As most of you know, I have been attending a grief recovery group for the last five weeks. In this group we've touched on how the things we say, can impact a person.. even if we don't mean for it to and how some words of comfort, don't bring comfort at all.
I bring this up because so many times before, during and after the adoption it was said to my husband what a "Real Man" he was for doing this for Riley (and sometimes, Me.)
My husband (whom I lovingly refer to as my ginger) is SO many things but "MORE" or "REAL" of a "MAN" he is not, for the sole action of adopting a child that was always "ours."
Sean is an amazing provider. He provides us with love, encouragement, strength, praise and his presence. He is also funny, smart, charismatic, loving but also, lovable. My husband is handsome.
My husband has ALWAYS been a REAL MAN. (Crazy, right?)
Let me back up for a minute though.. You see, the man I fell in love with was already great man. He was an amazing father to his two girls, he was a hard worker and a great friend. What was MORE was that he could be both of those things to Riley and me.
From the start, Sean treated Riley as though he had always been a part of his life. He stepped in and changed dirty diapers, he spent countless hours awake at night so I could sleep, he cared for my child while I worked. In most cases.. he's a far more patient parent then I could ever be. He was a real man for me, from the very start. Sean has always been Riley's second Dad, so much so, that Riley doesn't remember a time when his "Seany" wasn't here.
Now let me fast forward. For all of Jason's short comings he was a great father. Jason did not leave this world leaving Riley feeling like he was a burden or unwanted, that is for sure. So there was no metaphorical plate for Sean to step up to. Jason's absence was a series of events, yes.. but I do not think he purposely left his son. Riley will ALWAYS know how much BOTH of his daddy's have loved and do love him.
So, for those that have said what a "real man Sean is to take on someone else's child".. though I am sure this is mostly generational and not meant to sound as absurd as it does.. It does not bid well as a compliment. In fact, it's almost demeaning to him and us. What was he before this life event? Has he been a "fake" man for the last five and a half years? What about the years before he "took on" my child? Do the seven he spent before us not count at all?
I love my ginger, I love this family and I love the effort we have both given to each others children. I love that I can count on my ginger-bearded husband for any walk through our life. I can count on him to be a great dad, I can count on him to be an amazing husband and I know his heart has always been as loving as it is today.
I love that we have blended our lives seamlessly and though it isn't always easy, he makes my life easier.
I'm sure that this statement said to my husband over and over is mostly a response to not knowing the right words to say at all.
So to my husband, I want to say.. I love you, I am thankful for you and I have always thought of you as a real man. I am lucky to know you, to be your wife and your side kick. I am a better person because you are mine and I am yours. Thank you for ALWAYS loving Riley and me, for allowing me to love whole heartedly our girls and for giving me Cooper, I am positive he is the universe's way of trying to teach me patience. Thank you for unifying our family because Riley asked you to. Thank you, for wanting to be his Daddy - no matter the title in front of it. Step Dad, Bonus dad, Seany dad or now, Daddy -here on Earth.. I love every part of who you are and why you are the person you are.
(I made it a whole blog post without an obscene word, all for you, babe.)