Three years and a sweater

Three  years and a sweater

Three  years and a sweater

Three  years and a sweater

Three  years and a sweater

Three  years and a sweater

Three  years and a sweater

Three  years and a sweater

Last week found me knitting furiously with my deadline fast approaching.  I wanted to have Gabe’s sweater finished in time for quietly celebrating the day he joined our family, three years ago.  I kept wishing for a bit more time.  There was irony in that, because this three year mark in the early months and years was something I dreamed of sometimes, especially on the hard days.  My friends with adopted children of their own assured me that things would get easier, but that it would take about three years for things to settle.  I can say that we reached a certain level of comfort earlier even than that though, maybe about six months ago.  I also realize that for many reasons Gabriel and I still have a long way to go, and that’s okay.  He knows I love him, and I know he loves me.  (His relationship with Jonny it seems was cemented before they even boarded the plane in Liberia.)

There were many stops and starts with this sweater early on.  And even during the last couple of days, I found myself having to rip the cuff back on one of the sleeves and add another stripe in hopes that Gabe will be able to wear his sweater next year as well (I just had to edit because I accidently wrote “next week”  that would be true as well at the rate this boy has grown these past years.)  Every morning I would see Gabe picking up his sweater, checking my progress.  I don’t think any thing I have ever knit has been met with such excited anticipation.  Friday found me knitting the last few stitches, and weaving in ends for a good hour and a half or so.  I plunged the sweater into a bathtub of water, soaked it a bit, and then carefully squeezed it between towels before laying it on the sweater rack inside our dryer.  My plan was to run the dryer on low heat that night, and wake up to a nice dry sweater.  Only the next morning, the sweater was still wet, and after another hour of attempted drying, I realized that our dryer was broken, not heating (it still is!  oh, the laundry!)  For the next day and a half Gabe’s sweater was stretched on that drying rack, in front of the woodstove.  Poor Gabe, he was so anxious to wear it.  Finally on Sunday he was able to wear it for the first time, all three boys wearing their sweaters I’d knit them to Mass.  He hasn’t taken it off yet.  And I know he likes it because not only did I hear him say that he is going to wear it every day from now on, but he actually let me take his picture wearing it.

 

p.s.  Ravelry notes here.  Yarn here.  The song that got stuck in my head for weeks while I knit this here.

Celebrating Gabriel

Today we celebrated Gabriel’s ninth birthday.  I couldn’t help but sit down and look through old pictures of him, and of course I have to drag you down memory lane with me.  I know some of you have been here with me since even before he joined our family, so you don’t mind right?  Gabe has grown so much and in so many ways in the almost two and half years since he joined our family.  It’s amazing to see the contrast between the early pictures and the pictures of him now.  In two and a half years he has grown six shoe sizes (or is it seven?) more inches than I can even keep up with anymore (seriously–around ten if not more), and he has doubled in weight.  These are all good things, but hard for his mama if I am honest.  The little bitty boy who wasn’t even as tall as me when I was kneeling, the little boy who couldn’t reach the kitchen tap, he’s my tallest child now!  He’s not a little boy anymore, and I missed so much of his life that it has been hard for me to accept how quickly he has matured.  But if there is anything I have learned, it’s that no matter what, I have to keep meeting him right where he’s at, even if I am in denial over the fact that he has matured into a young man seemingly overnight!
This was taken about a month after homecoming–February 2009
Same day–That’s Keats next to Gabe
another taken during the first couple of months
and this one probably during his first week home.  He has always adored Beatrix. (although he says that this new baby will most likely be nothing but trouble.)
The early months–his first bike
first summer
still summer 2009
fast forward to spring 2011!!!
(Gabe had just taken an accidental swim in the creek and was super cold in this and the following photos)
Keats has changed too–it helps me to put things in perspective–Gabe has grown so much, but so do all children.  I think that it is just harder (at least a little) when you have missed out on a child’s early years.  I just want Gabe to freeze–to wait–we haven’t had enough time–and he just keeps growing up!

 

Happy, happy birthday dear Gabriel!
 I am so thankful that we have the privilege of celebrating you (and I would sincerely appreciate it if you would hold off on growing another inch for at least a few months.)