Monday, February 7, 2011

Let's Be Real
He is Mine.

When I hear Tedi say, "My Mommy, I need you" or "Mommy, I love you" or "Yes ma'am, Mommy", I melt.  When I see him hug my friends and give them kisses and hear him sing "Lay 'em Down" to Jesus, I wonder how in the world someone could not love this child based on the color of skin or because he did not "come from me."  Even now, seven months later, I still have people ask me, "Don't you want children of your own?"  I know these people do not mean any harm, especially those close to me who ask.  I know they really mean "Don't you want to have children come your private parts that look like you?" and still, they mean no harm. If you have read any of our blog, you will realize that we did try for about one year to conceive.  I did not seek in vitro or in utero fertilization procedures...I felt called to something different....adoption. (as a disclaimer, I am not in opposition to these whatsoever.  I was just called differently) But that year of trying left a scar on my heart.  A scar that a good dose of kisses from Tedi will mask like middle-aged women and their anti-wrinkle makeup.  However, these words uttered, often in curiosity, cause a slight bit of pain where in the healing scar hides. I often wonder how these people hear Tedi say "Mommy or Daddy" and think he is not actually mine.  I love to talk about my adoption and love entertaining questions about all aspects, even the dirty stuff like this.  However, I still find this question hurtful when flippantly uttered. 

So in rebuttal, Tedros James Henderson is MY son.  He did not pass from my body, was not created by the DNA combo of a Stewart and a Henderson, but was intricately created by the Creator for our family.  He is as OCD as his father and is as loving as me, if not more.  He is as determined as JT and a jokester like his daddy too.  He does not share my chromosomes, my skin color, my hair texture, but if you spend time with him, you know he is ours. 

To answer the initial question, the one everyone either haphazardly asks or wants to.... "Do I want biological children?"   Here is my answer.... If God gifts me with a child of our bodies, I will feel blessed. However, I will not love that child any more dearly than I do Tedi.  I have vowed that I will not let the pangs of infertility, the absence of a child in my womb, steal joy from me another day.  I will not allow it to make me despise pregnant women as it did when I was in the midst of its fog.  I will not allow it to place a wedge in my marriage like it started to do during our struggle.  Thank God for His peace and granting me a heart that now knows of the blessings (and struggles) of being an adoptive parent.   When I look into my son's face, I know there are millions more orphans like him needing a mommy to brush their teeth and kiss their cheeks and feed their bellies. If my inability to conceive (and the pain it created in the past) is what it takes to slowly place the lonely in families than it is the cross I am willing to bear... For  if at the end of my life, I look into the eyes of my children and two are African, two are Chinese, and one is Hispanic, I will not be disappointed that my own green eyes are not staring back at me.  I will feel blessed that I have actually listened to the whispers of a Christ who made me his "own", His "own" child.


  1. VERY well written. couldn't have said it better. your thoughts and mine are quite similar as is the journey. i have written about the same at some point in my blog. this was a GREAT post. well done mom!

  2. Love this! Very well written and one I think everyone needs to read! I've been reading your blog for a is a blessing to me! We met your friends, Justin and Donna Brown, while our families were in Ethiopia for our court dates in December...we were talking about blogs and yours came up! Funny that I was reading a blog of people they knew!

  3. What a beautiful post. The questions from other people are so hard now that our girls are six years old because they know all of the questions (and the answers) but people just don't think before they ask. It is very hurtful to my girls the things that people say. Thank you for writing this, your little one is just precious.

  4. Kim,
    I loved looking at your blog. Your girls are beautiful! And your mission work is impressive!

    You know I love you too. Thank you for the comment.

    Koen Family~
    I love Justin and Donna. If anyone is the picture of resilience and faith and perserverance, it is them. Thank you for your kind words. I am going to start following your blog!

    e.faeth.adopt.~ Thank you for your consistent following and support. If you are in KY, we should get together.

  5. Beautiful post Natalie! I love reading your words. You are an amazing woman. This touched my heart!

  6. I stumbled across your blog on Liz Lauer's FB page (actually a group of our friends have been sending it to each other) and I just wanted to say that I think you have an incredible spirit. I am both excited and inspired by how you overcame the obstacles in your life and turned your personal pain into joy and love, not only for yourself, but also for a little boy who needed it the most! Thank you so much for sharing and I just wanted to let you know that your beautiful message made it all the way to South Korea! :)

  7. Reading this post with tears in my eyes. You have such a precious heart and I love the way that you and JT love Tedi.