On Thursdays, I post from the vault. This is from February 2010.

When Mark and I are “on our game” (which we are not right now), we like to do affirmations with the kids
at the dinner table. Generally it involves us going around the table
and saying a few things we like about each kid, and a few ways they have
made us proud that day. We haven’t done this since Kembe came home,
and the other night as we were eating it occurred to me that we needed
to include him in this tradition. I went around the table, saying the
usual things. As we affirmed Jafta, and then India, and then each
other, Kembe sat there quietly, with wide eyes and a curious look. I
could tell he understood what I was saying and was watching with
anticipation. Then, it was his turn. I told him in my best Krenglish
how much I loved him, how funny he is, how nice he is to the baby, how
handsome he is, and how happy we are that he is in our family.

Oh
my word. If I could have somehow captured the look on his face at this
moment, it would melt your heart. He just got this look about him that
I’ve never seen. It was pure joy . . . just unadulterated excitement
and pride and happiness. He was BEAMING. And seeing him, I just
thought: this.

This
is what every child longs for and deserves . . . the adoration and
affection from a parent. This is why I spent the better part of a day
sounding off at a small portion of a news program dissing adoption.
This is why I get so frustrated with attempts to shut down children
being placed in the home of a loving family, because of something like
race, or location, or sexual orientation, or finances, or home size.

When you see a glimpse of a child getting it – this.
This family thing. When that starts to click and you get to bear
witness to it . . . I just don’t think there is anything more beautiful.