for a long while, elijah didn't call me "mama", he wouldn't usually address me at all.
every now and then, he would look up, and shout "sah-leeeeee" and run up to me, throwing his arms around my legs and give the best hug. it took us some time, but we realized what he was actually saying. charlie. from one of his favorite shows, charlie and lola.
soon, almost any time elijah wanted my attention, he would shout out his happy "sah-leeeeee!!!!" and run over with a hug. having lived many months without hearing mama or even getting voluntary hugs made this an incredibly welcome nickname.
this photo is from his first day of school last fall, do you remember?
he screamed "sah-leeeeee!!!!" when he saw me, and dragged his precious teacher to meet me.
i think it was the best day ever.
more and more elijah is affectionate to us, even more to others! papa has always been his jam, noticeably getting excited when patrick's around. i've always known elijah loves me, too. it's just been a glorious blessing to see it in a more tangible way now. he even says mama on occasion. but mostly, when he greets me after a long day of school and therapy? he's happy and hugging charlie.
he says "charlie" much clearer now. and he takes our hands most nights before bed, leading us to stand in front of the kitchen sink. then he scurries over to the wall near the front door, giving himself distance to run. he throws his little head back, shuts his eyes and yells "charlieeeeeeee!!!!" and elijah runs to us, and we to him. we clash and squeeze each other in one beautiful, rambunctious hug.
elijah is acting out something he's seen on a cartoon dvd. but he knows it means, "i love you". this is his way of communicating this to me right now, no doubt.
i've mentioned to friends, how it hurts to miss out on the "mama" name. but how i know and love that "charlie" is in its place. i'm grateful for friends and family who hear me, they listen. they love. they understand that the language "spoken" in our home sounds and looks different. sometimes there are no words at all. sometimes there's charlie.
some folks have "mama" stamped onto jewelry or stitched onto a pillow in the native tongue of their internationally adopted children. i've always thought that was so beautiful. my darling friend made me this necklace, because she knows the language of my son. she knows that i am charlie, elijah's mama.
i'm tremendously grateful for these seemingly small ways the lord is caring for my heart in this special journey of motherhood.
tell me what you're grateful for today!