Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Matthew!

The past year has brought a lot of changes for Matthew. He started kindergarten, made new friends, was baptized and develop some new interests. Matthew has grown a lot this year as I realize all children his age do. It's amazing to watch how much young children change as they leave their preschool years and become school age children. It's a much harder transition than I ever realized. Both of my boys struggled at times during this transition but also blossomed.

Matthew turned 6 years old last week. It's amazing to look at him and think about how far he has come. He is no longer the scared and traumatized 1 year old boy who first came to stay at my house. I didn't know then if he would be here for a few days, months or years. I had mixed feelings back then. I fully supported all of the efforts to help his birth mother and allow him to return but I also quickly fell in love with him and didn't want him to ever leave. I look at him now as my 6 year old son who is here to stay and I am amazed at how he has changed and grown. Sure, we still have our challenges but the challenges are so much less than they were when he first arrived. His fighting spirit got him through some very difficult times when he was a baby and have helped him to be resilient and thrive as a young boy. I know there will be challenges ahead but I also know there will be many more wonderful times with a truly amazing young man.

Here are 6 things I love about Matthew. I could fill up pages of things but I will limit myself to 6 since it is his 6th birthday.

1) Matthew's smile. I know I don't need to worry as long as Matthew has that smile on his face. Even when he is in trouble, he is usually smiling and having fun.

2) Matthew's sense of humor. Matthew can make even the grumpiest people laugh.

3) Matthew's resilience. The kid never lets anyone get him down for more than a few minutes. I have never known him to be grumpy for more than about 10 minutes.

4) Matthew's enthusiasm. Matthew has never been a kid to settle for "good enough." If he decides to do something he does it all the way. Whether it is painting a picture, writing a story or learning to ride his bike. He won't quit until he gets it just right.

5) Matthew's brotherly love. There is no one Matthew loves more than his brother and no one who cares about him more. Matthew is always happiest when he is with his brother. It doesn't matter if they are fighting, playing or scheming together.

6) Matthew's compassion and love. Matthew just wants to have fun and he wants other people to have fun with him.

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