Jac0b with my parents’ dog. He loves animals.
This morning on the drive to school with Jac0b and Lexi, Jac0b asks me if I signed his Tuesday folder. Mind you, it’s Friday. “No”, I tell him, “you didn’t show it to me. Get it out now and I’ll sign it.”
He gets it out and passes it to me in the driver’s seat. I sign my name as I lean it against the steering wheel. I flip through the papers and see it’s time for yearbook orders.
“Order my yearbook! I want a yearbook!” Jac0b says from the back seat.
“OK, we always order yearbooks, so I’ll definitely do that.”
“Order it now! My teacher will be mad if I don’t take the form today.”
“Jac0b, it has a due date of the 21st. I have plenty of time. I promise I’ll order the yearbook.”
“Do it or you’ll forget. You ALWAYS forget.”
“Jac0b, no I don’t. I do what I say.”
“Well, Daddy doesn’t.”
“Yes, he does, Jac0b. Daddy does what he says. Can you think of a time when Daddy didn’t?”
His silence is the answer.
“We do what we say, Jac0b. I’ve bought yearbooks every single year for the girls. I promise I’ll get you one.”
He seems satisfied and then says, “I’ve never had a yearbook. Lexi, will you sign my yearbook?”
And there it is between the lines. Unmet promises, trust broken. He doesn’t explain, but I know he’s wanted a yearbook before and someone didn’t come through.
My heart breaks thinking of him in class when they’re passing yearbooks between friends. Someone let him down. He’s helpless and left out and hurt. No one is signing his yearbook because he doesn’t have one. He has no pictures to look back at, to remember. My girls flip through theirs constantly. They talk about their friends and their teachers and all their favorite memories.
I decide I’ll not only order this yearbook, but I want to call all his previous schools and see if I can gather his past yearbooks for him.
Today they come. It’s the 7th. Ninety days since his first day with us. We sign our final adoption papers at lunchtime. The one where we can take it to the attorney and make it all legal. And after the conversation this morning, I cannot sign that paper fast enough. I want to be the one that fights for him. The one that keeps promises and makes connections to his past and see his face light up when it’s redeemed. I want to be his advocate and his number one fan.
I want to be his mom.
Today is another yes to make that happen. It’s taken so many to get here, but we’re here and I’m so ready.