The first time we met, you were crawling across a vinyl kitchen floor in pursuit of a red and blue striped squeaky ball. You looked up at me with your deep chocolatey-brown eyes and gave a grin wide enough to display all four of your tiny white teeth.
Your Daddy and I had begun the journey to being your parents a long time before that. We had paperwork to fill out, meetings with the people who had to decide if we would be able to give you a good home and then the long plane ride to finally meet you.
It was Hallowe'en 2003, you were only a few months old and living in a province far from ours. We spent a week getting to know you - the adoption people called it "bonding" - and then we signed the papers that allowed us to bring you home. I'll never forget a moment of that trip: 13 hours and 3 plane changes with a tired baby. It was an amazing experience. Other mommies have to go through labour. I guess that plane ride was my version of it. I didn't mind it one bit, though - you were worth it all, even the atomic diaper change on the final leg of the trip, and that was pretty gross!
You make me proud. You have spirit that never gives up. Whether it's tae kwondo, swimming, reading or spending time with your family and friends, you give 100% of yourself. Master C. at tae kwondo tells me all the time that you are a hard worker and a very good boy. You are respectful and polite. You let people know with your words and behaviour that you appreciate them, and that makes them feel good. You are smart - have I told you how pleased I am at your progress in reading this year? I really love it when you read to me. It's often the highlight of my day. You also have a big heart and you are very loyal and caring to your friends and family. Yesterday, Steve told me that you make him feel happy. That's a very special gift you have, B-man, one that you give to a lot of people. Mrs. L. has said to me that she hopes her children grow up to be like you. I told her that I couldn't imagine a better son than you.
You've made me smile every day; not just because you're funny (even though you often are) but because I'm so amazed at the person you are. Everything from your crazy "Knock-knock" jokes to your excited grin yesterday when you told me you are going to be testing for your red belt in tae kwondo, everything that is YOU makes my days bright and full of joy. You are a wonderful kid, B-man. I love you with all my heart.