On the other side of the world, in the United States of America, there was a couple. They were longing for children. They wanted to be parents. They wanted children to care for and teach and love.
The couple decided to adopt. Birth and marriage certificates were obtained in triplicate. They were fingerprinted and run through the FBI. A home study was done. Meetings were attended. Papers were filed.
Time went by.
Then, in February 1988, pictures arrived of two boys - biological brothers - ages 3 and 5. The couple was asked if they would accept them.
April 1988, the couple drove to Philadelphia International Airport to meet the plane that carried the two boys.
Two tiny babies got off the plane with escorts and were placed into the arms of anxious new parents.
Finally, two little boys walked off the plane. Scared. Wondering.
One was older and one was younger. Sixteen months difference.
The couple and the boys became a family. A new family. With children that don't come from a birth in a hospital but from a plane and a land faraway.
The bonds are just as tight. The feelings just as deep. Hurts just a painful. Joys just as joyous.
A mother's and father's love. Eternal. Unconditional. Forever.
Today is a special day. The younger of the boys celebrated a birthday today.
Taylor turned 29.
Mr. Creativity. Mr. Charisma. Mr. Personality.
Taylor - who you couldn't send to his room for punishment because it sounded as if there were thirty other people up there with him. Such an imagination!
Taylor - who has more bark than bite and has feelings that run deep.
Taylor - who you had to stay one step ahead of at all times. Such a quick thinker. Sometimes he used his talents for good and sometimes for mischief. Never a dull moment with this one!
As our children get older, they're still our children.
As they have children of their own, we as parents hope they get "it". "It" being the work it takes to maintain a loving family and home. "It" being what's really important in life - not things - but who you come home to at the end of the day. Who is there to support you. Who will always be there for the highs and lows and in-betweens. We hope they understand that not a day goes by that we don't think of them and miss them.
I could say something like "you've come a long way, baby" but that sounds so trite - even though it's true.
I'll just say - I'm wishing you many many happy years to come. Enjoy life but stay focused on what's important and what's real. And, never forget where you came from.
Happy Birthday, Taylor! May this year be your best yet.
I love you more! Always and forever.