My boy Michael Bennett has the most infectious smile I have ever seen. His will and his persistence at simple common tasks is unflapable and inspiring. Not to mention, he is quite possibly one of the cutest kids I have ever seen.
In just under a week we will travel with MB to New York City. There he will have surgery performed on him to help save his sole, ailing kidney deep inside his small little body. Doctors at Presbyterian will do all they can to provide my boy with the best opportunity for him to get better, to thrive and fulfill all of the promise his beautiful and emboldened eyes hold.
From the streets of Xiamen, China to the Hills of Central Texas to an operating room in Manhattan, the journey for my little boy has been a great one. At only age two he has experienced more loss, more distance and more trials than I ever will in several lifetimes. Yet the love that he brings, the joy that surrounds his family and the community that calls him his own is a humbling experience unmatched by anything in my life.
Someone commented to me the other day, “Your new son is so lucky to be adopted by you with all his medical issues.” He is fortunate. But it’s funny, I don’t really think of it that way, In fact, there probably is not a day that goes by that I don’t feel fortunate in his presence. Of course, it is challenging, but I see how my incredible children rally to his side. I watch a mother care selflessly for him and neighbors and friends support us with food and strength. Through all of this experience I am taught a deeper understanding of love and commitment. I am better because of my boy and I am blessed because of him. None of this would be the case without Peanut in my life.
The other day Michael and I went on a hike as we like to do. I placed him in his backpack carrier just behind my head. As we descended into the canyon floor among the Cottonwoods and Salvia, Michael fell fast asleep, his head bowing limp against my neck. I thought of the the trail we walked upon and I thought of his own journey. Where the creek’s water blocked our way, there were always stones to cross upon. Where the trail became slick, there was always footing to be found and where the path led us, I was always confident we would find our way out.
To be on this trail with my son is a miracle, one that my wife insisted we walk upon those two years ago. I am so fortunate because of my wife, because of my children, because of my community. And I will carry my boy over every water crossing that life might present us with.
Wǒ ài nǐ