Friday, May 30, 2014

Hello, Six.

Today is the day, if it hasn't happened already.

Paperwork has been done, photos have been updated, arrangements have been made.  Anton's life is about to be turned upside down, and he doesn't even know it.

Today, he turns six.  And at Anton's orphanage, six is the age you get transferred to an adult mental institution.  It's almost a death sentence.

But God.  God has given this boy a life sentence.


Anton is now Carter.  And Carter is just waking up, loved and adored by his family.  He knows it's his birthday.  Boy, does he know it.

Candles are ready, taco bar prepped (Carter has a deep love for all things Mexican), and gifts carefully wrapped.

As I put Carter to bed last night, I was eager to get things ready for his party today.  Cleaning to do!  Food to prep!  Laundry to start!  I just couldn't.  I climbed in to bed with our little five year old, and he snuggled in so perfectly.

He loves us.  We love him.  It couldn't be any better.  He cups his little hand over his chin, so his fingers just cover his mouth.  He giggles in his sweet little boy way, and he sucks his tongue like he does when he's tired.

My heart melts.  This is where I'm supposed to be.

During this past year, so much has changed.  Carter went from calling us "Mama" & "Dada" to just "Mom" and "Dad".  Carter has preferences now - before, things like what color marker to use or what shoes to wear made no difference.  He sleeps in a twin bed with no toddler rail, and he stays in it all night.  Carter can walk through a store without even touching the cart.  He is an independent little helper - seeing that I need a spoon for his cereal, and getting it himself before I ask.

Year five was good to us.

Year five was tough, too, I'm not gonna lie.  But we're learning so much. And if year five was the year of questions & confusion, year six is the year of answers & understanding.

So, to Carter.  Our Pal Pal.  Our Honey Bear.  We are so proud of you.  You teach us new things every single day.  We are slow to learn, we know.  But you are a patient teacher.  We know that this year will be full of all good things - and we are so thankful that we get to walk with you through all of it.  What a wild, precious life we have.

What a wild, precious boy you are.  I can't think of two words that fit you more.

On this, your sixth year, may you enjoy many chips & rice nights, may you become the best baseball player you can be, and may kindergarten never let you down.

You're the best, pal pal.  We can't imagine life without you.  Why would we want to?!


Year Six.  It's looking pretty good.  Feeling so very grateful.  So hopeful.  And crazy proud.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Goodbye Five, Hello Six!

You can read about Carter's fourth birthday here and here, and his fifth birthday here and here.

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