As of this morning, I officially have a four-year-old son. Liam is curious, kind, energetic, fun-loving and handsome to boot. He's objectively cooperative and funny in both intentional and accidental ways. He is all rainbows and dinosaurs and pockets these days. He loves rain puddles and Cocomelon and finding hidden treats, and he is really looking forward to birthday presents. He really is a joy, 93% of the time (and the other seven percent is classic growing-kid stuff that's completely manageable when I'm taking my meds correctly).Liam's curiosity is one of the things I try to actively encourage. I'm excited for him to start school in a few weeks because there will be other people working to develop his knowledge base (and honestly I could use a little more time to think, clean, cook, write, etc) but I know there are some lessons that are primarily my responsibility to ensure he learns, such as a practical map of the human body and its basic functions.
To that end, I have allowed Liam to supervise many of my trips to the bathroom, including during menstruation, and so far I've offered variations on the following explanation:
"In the spring, when a bird is getting ready to have her babies, she builds a nest for her eggs. But humans can have babies any time of year, so to make sure the baby will have a safe place to grow whenever it comes, a woman's body builds a kind of nest inside the uterus, which is part of the belly. If there's a baby and it needs the belly-nest, then great! It will snuggle in and start to grow. But if there's no baby, then the woman's body says, 'No problem, we'll make another one next month, just in case,' and the old nest has to come out of the body, through the vagina. Bird nests are made of sticks, but human belly-nests are mostly made out of blood. So that's why I'm bleeding."
"No baby this time, buddy. Gotta get rid of the nest."
I started bleeding again last night. This rhythm, though familiar, carries with the inevitable physical discomfort the added emotional heaviness of disappointment. We have been hoping and praying for a necessary nest for a long time.
After two years on the "Adopt Ready" list through CAS, we were told in January that our home, until we can adopt an older child (when Liam / our youngest is about eight) is not needed. They have lots of willing families (80+) and very few children (~03/year) who need permanent placements outside of their own kin relationships. We were encouraged to grow our family biologically if possible. So here we are, taking the requisite steps, cursing my chaotic PCOS cycle, praying as a family that Jesus will give us a baby who needs my belly-nest. Liam prays for a girl. Ben's with him. I would love another boy. None of us really care that much.
Time to get dressed and join the party.