The aging of one’s children is a curious and cruel set of mathematics. Our firstborn is 18 today, and I’m barely convinced it’s true.

We first learned of Jeremy’s existence on August 5, 2003, when a friend told us she knew someone whose sister was eight months pregnant and wanting to place the child for adoption. In flash, we sent this mystery woman our adoption profile and went straight to praying. By August 8, I was on the phone with Jeremy’s birth mother, and the road to his birth and subsequent adoption was underway.

There is no way to cohesively and efficiently explain what happened between August 5 and September 8. Phone calls, lawyer appointments, doctor visits, crying, praying, emailing, wondering. One might think I was a nervous wreck for five weeks straight, but that wasn’t the case.

There were nervous moments and flickers of WHAT IS THIS AMAZING GIFT, but not once – not one single time – did I think that growing baby boy wasn’t mine.

Jeremy’s birth mother never failed to communicate with us or refer to him as ours, and she consistently reassured us that she wasn’t changing her mind. I wasn’t worried at all.

We agreed on an induction date – Monday, September 8 – and Brenda, my mother-in-law, secured a friend’s cabin for us in Maggie Valley, not far from the hospital where Jeremy would be delivered. We trekked to North Carolina together, us and Bill and Brenda. They sat in the hospital waiting room while Chuck and I stayed with Jeremy’s birth mother and her family in the labor and delivery room.

Astonishing, I tell you, to watch another woman give birth to your own child. It is the ultimate sacrifice of love to give birth to a baby and place him in the arms of other people.

I couldn’t believe he was real.

He was perfect. Dark hair, a gentle cry, entirely ours. We stayed in North Carolina for ten days per the waiting period, but we had no worries about that. None of us would change our minds.

Fast forward 18 years and here we are.

Jeremy loves soccer, biking, long-boarding, skiing, jet-skiing in the Pacific Ocean – anything that brings a thrill. He’s new to cross country and loving that too. He’s been working since he was 15 (or 14?), and he’s currently enjoying an easy senior year of high school.

He has the best hair in the family.

It’s unfortunate his 18th birthday falls in the middle of the week – a work day, a school day, nothing as exciting as a Friday or Saturday. But, that’s okay. Life is GOOD right now, and he knows it.

We are proud of who he is becoming, and we adore his girlfriend, Emma. Gosh, we’ve hit the jackpot there.

Happy Birthday to the guy who made me a mother. Don’t ever forget how much you were wanted or how much you are loved by us and your birth family.

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