There are many ways I have grown as I raise my children. I have learned to love so deeply while struggling to maintain my autonomous self. I’ve also learned how to stand back, allowing my children to fail and flail, equipping them to prioritize growth and maturation over momentary satisfaction. Some of my own development as a mother, though, happens uniquely through raising my two boys; unlike my three daughters, they are adopted. (As my husband and I say, “We produce girls and import boys.”)
Our older son, Adar, who is now 14, came home when he was nine months old; our younger son, Zamir, 11, came home when he was four years old. They both ask big questions about loss, love and family — and not on a theoretical level. Why doesn’t God give someone what he wants even if he’s a good boy who asks for it? Or, Did it hurt my tummy-mommy when I was born? They make our family a window to God and life’s mysteries. Raising our sons in a world of brokenness, we have found traces of repair. Like Zamir looking up from amidst the cacophony of beginner’s orchestra, meeting my eyes, and missing a note on his trumpet because he can’t suppress a smile.