The other night as my family and I got ready for bed, Holden said to his father: "Appa, I brush my teeth. I got it!"
This is a typical nightly struggle as Holden approaches three years old. The independence factor is off the charts! But, it's not what Holden said that took my breath away. It's what his father said next...
"You know what I find amazing, Holden?" he asked.
"This time last year you couldn't speak any English. We weren't even sure if you understood any if it. Now, look at you arguing with me! We were so worried, and now look at you!"
Wow. Seriously. So much can change in one year. A little toddler who had nothing but 3 Korean words flying home with him on a jet plane can now hold his own with you till the cows come home.
It isn't unusual or surprising I suppose. Of course we knew he would learn, and we hoped it would be quickly. But it is amazing. In every since of that over-used word.
This little wonder of a boy is also potty trained (having done so in one week!) He can count to 20, button his coat, and work the hell out of some jigsaw puzzles. Am I bragging? Maybe. I think it's OK too on this one. Because my son is amazing. Most of all I am amazed by how his heart has grown.
If you think about it, REALLY think about it, it is a nothing short of miraculous.
A 20 month old baby is taken away, and given to his forever family. They already love him. They adore him. They want to bottle everything about him, and save it. They understand. But, he doesn't. So, his heart is grieving.
At first, he gives kisses "bobos" to any soul who will ask. He's overly affectionate with strangers, and can't sleep at night. He won't eat much and hates when you leave the room.
His heart was hurting a year ago. His love needed time to grow.
And, boy has it grown.
Present day Holden asks for snuggles with his Omma. He squeals with joy when he sees his grandparents. He begs to play basketball with his Appa every night!
He knows he will be fed. He knows he will be bathed. He knows he will have all of his immediate needs met. But, he also knows he is loved. He calms with the touch of my hand as I wipe his hair off his forehead. He reaches down and hugs my husband's neck as we are walking through the mall for no reason at all.
His heart has grown. My hope as his mother is that it is full.
Full up on all things comforting, safe, warm and happy.
It's been an amazing year in the life of Holden. I can't wait to see what 2014 brings, and how his heart grows.