Today -- May 7, 2015 -- our little Isaac John turns seven years old. It is a birthdate he shares with his birthmom Bri, and it is his golden birthday
On May 7, 2008 we received a phone call that Bri was in labor and our game plan went immediately into action. Dog went to babysitter. Van got borrowed. JB's coworkers took over for him at work. And my writing job was put on hold.
Just a few hours later, while on the highway stuck in traffic somewhere between Eglin AFB where we lived and Fort Lauderdale, Florida where Isaac was born, I picked up my old razor flip phone to hear Bri say, "You have a son."
I had a son.
WE had a son.
For some people, having a son fit neatly into their life plan. They scheduled it. "Today I will go to the grocery store. Tomorrow I will go the movies. And on Friday, I'll get pregnant."
But for us, it didn't work that way. Having a child had become a distant dream that seemed unattainable. We had begun to picture our life without children. We were one month away from celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary without children.
And then ... Isaac.
The births of all my children are special to me. But Isaac's birth will forever remain permanently etched into every single fibre of my being and memory in my brain. I can remember trying to find a parking space at the hospital. I can remember walking down the long hallway to the nursery. I can remember what it smelled like, what I felt like, what I was thinking about. I remember feeling so helpless when the nurse said I couldn't go back and hold him. And feeling like I might fall completely apart when Joan worked her magic and we were allowed to hold him for the first time ... feed him for the first time ... change his diaper for the first time.
Was this really happening to us?
After all this time were we really going to be able to love this little boy forever?!
And now, that little 7 pound 5 ounce bundle of miracle is seven.
What does seven look like for Isaac?
One word can summarize Isaac's current passion: LEGO. He loves all legos and if they are coupled with superheroes or Star Wars, they are even more so loved. Isaac is very focused on trying to earn pennies and dimes and nickels and quarters for chores around the house so that his bank fills up and he can buy ... Legos. He is constantly looking through his most recent Lego magazine or browsing pages of Legos book from the library, choosing his next purchase. He even told me he'd like to become a professional tennis player because they can earn a lot of money that he could use to buy ... Legos. He is incredibly skilled at building them and absolutely in love with playing with them.
Isaac has now lost EIGHT teeth and losing teeth means one thing: more lego money!
A gift from his birthmom Bri and her husband Robert. What better than ... Legos?
One of the highlights of Isaac's year was getting to go to Disney and Legoland. He is truly fearless when it comes to rollercoasters and adventure. However, if he tries a ride and it doesn't fit him, he is also not shy about saying, "No thanks. Not doing that one again."
Isaac loves to be goofy for pictures. I try not to get too frustrated with the fact that getting him to give me a normal smile in a photo is usually a few and far between occurrence.
Isaac is fiercely devoted to his family. He loves his Daddy like no other, and Sidge is truly his best friend. He has incredible patience and kindness for his sisters having never raised a hand to hurt either of them. He lets them take things from him and climb on him and kiss him and hug him to oblivion. He also really enjoys spending time with all his three sets of grandparents -- my parents, John's parents, and Bri's parents. Isaac doesn't pretend to like someone. He can take a long time to really "let people in." But once he let's you in and determines you "worthy of his time" he is loyal to you forever. I love the fact that a smile or a hug or a kiss from Isaac is never something he "just does." When he gives these things, he truly gives them and means them deeply. I still remember when he turned to tell my mom he loved her, unprompted. I watched my mom's eyes fill up with tears. This wouldn't happen with an "I love you" from my other kids. But from Isaac? It really means something.
Our Isaac loves to play games. His favorites are the card games Spit, Gin Rummy, Kings in the Corner, and Solitare. He's very good and very shrewd and sneaky in trying to beat you. He also loves the game Hotels and some of our learning games. While he doesn't like school, he is very good at Math -- already borrowing and carrying. He also reads extremely well. He is technically in Kindergarten but doing most of his schoolwork at a high first grade level. He also recently learned how to tie his shoes and considers himself a very good basketball dribbler thanks to lessons from his cousin Nate.
While all of my kids like their "stuff", Isaac has that same fierce devotion for people in his life as he does for his special stuffed animals. Here he is with Robert and the new Disney Bear "Duffy" he got while at Disney World. He loves his Small dog and Blue bear most of all. These stuffed animals bring him great comfort and he turns to them when things upset him. We don't let him take them anywhere that we aren't spending the night because we are so worried about something happening to one of these guys.
I put this picture in because I love the look on Isaac's face int his picture. It is his look of happiness that he is trying to contain but that he just can't help but let out. He is growing up but still a little boy, and this picture is so symbolic of who he is.
Another example of his propensity for silly pictures. He is definitely the ring leader when he comes to these photos.
Here is the most recent picture of our entire family -- all six of us. (And Mickey.) Isaac is definitely the big brother in our family. He is a firstborn, and while he and Sidge have been raised like twins, there is no question who runs the show.
The most recent picture of the four siblings. I can't imagine our family without
Here is a look back at Isaac and his previous six birthdays:
To our introspective, loyal, reserved, old soul of a son, we love you more than we could ever type in words on a blog. Thank you for changing our life forever. Thank you to Bri for choosing LIFE for you and picking us to be your Daddy and Mommy! We are honored and privileged and never take for granted the gift you are to our family. You will always be our firstborn.