It’s about this point in winter, Christmas is over, New Year’s is over, snow and visible breaths have lost their luster…this point in winter I wish I was anywhere but Iowa. This year, I’m wishing for somewhere warmer, somewhere in Africa, oh yeah, that’s right, that’s ETHIOPIA. I REALLY wish I was in Ethiopia today. I wish I was there, holding Tariku, telling him a story. Not an important story, just any story. If I’m telling him just any story that means we’ve “known” each other for a few days by now and we’ve stopped staking such importance on every word, every hug, every kiss.
I’m ready to just be Tariku’s mommy. I love being a mommy. In fact, I never knew that being a mommy would be so wonderfully fulfilling. I didn’t know any of this. Now I do, that’s why I’m 100% positive I’m ready to do it again with Tariku. Though I may not be completely ready for everything that comes with adopting a 3-year-old, I think I’m as ready as I can be. I’ve tipped my big toe in the water and I’m ready to dive in; with no limits, get the hair wet, mascara running down the face. Shoulder deep in mothering Tariku, that’s where I want to be.
17 days…17 days until the Ethiopian courts will pronounce Zach and Tesi Klipsch as mother and father of Tariku Asamu. I can’t wait to get word of that. By just as my friend, Jody, is struggling with, even when I’m pronounced his mother, I can’t actually mommy him for a few weeks after that.
We, as mommys, are used to our hearts living outside our bodies. To cry when we hear how a kid beat up our child (someone did to Trysten today), to fight the big battles, the small battles, the insignificant battles, all of that. To kiss the tears away, give big congratulatory hugs, say prayers, eat *white* snow. This is a mommy. A mommy, for all intents and purposes, cannot be a mommy on paper alone. A mommy gets knee deep in poo, throw up, mud, gross bath water. A mommy is just…there. Getting the birth certificate with Zach and my names as Tariku’s parents will be huge, there’s no doubt; but it doesn’t make me any more of a mommy to him. I have a feeling February 7th will pass, Tariku will be ours and he will be none the wiser. The 7th will look a lot like the 5th and the 6th to him. He doesn’t know he just gained another mommy and a daddy. But when I get there, when I hold him and (oy) sing to him, rock him to sleep. Then he will know I am his mommy. He may not feel for me like he did for his amaye, but he will know I am what a mommy should feel like.
All this is to say I really wish I could get past the “mother” and get straight to the “mommy” with my Tariku.