Fifteen years ago, they were still snuggled in their mother’s womb, probably kicking each other. No one expected them to be born the next day, but their mother rushed to the emergency room and Twin A was already pushing his way out. He was born late that night. Half an hour later, his upside down brother was delivered by c-section. A few minutes later and he would have had an entirely different birthdate.
I had no idea that my baby boys had been born. Their mother had not yet made a parenting plan. They were nine weeks premature and spent the first weeks of their tiny lives hospitalized. She visited them every day, growing more and more attached to these babies she intended to relinquish for adoption. Then, when one baby was healthy enough, she brought him home. A few weeks later, his twin brother came home, too.
But circumstances and hard times led her to conclude a few months later that placing her baby boys for adoption would be the best thing for everyone. That’s where we enter the story.
The story of how they joined our family is a complicated one, fraught with twists and turns and one very dismal, dark night full of bitter tears.
And so tomorrow, we will celebrate their fifteenth birthday. And I can’t help but wonder what she will do tomorrow. Will she pause and cry? Will she eat cake? Will she look at the calendar and think only three more years and they’re adults? I think about her and wish I could reassure her. They are doing fine, even though some days I wonder what in the world I was thinking when I declared that all I ever wanted in the whole wide world was to have children.
They are funny boys, addicted at the moment to Rock Band, the video game. One is learning to play the guitar and the other is going to start piano lessons. They have a bunch of friends in the neighborhood. They are learning to be good big brothers, to defer to the younger kids. They cook and find the idea of a sandwich for lunch simply unthinkable.
Last week, they impressed me with their lack of complaints when I took them early to help at their great-grandmother’s house. They worked in the yard on Saturday without complaint. One of them helped in the church nursery on Sunday, again with no complaints. Shocking, really.
They are good boys with soft hearts. They are closer than brothers, for they are twins. They have always been together and talk late into the night. They love each other, even as they irritate each other.
They are both taller than me and each have sprouted a chin hair or two. They’ve embraced deodorant and toothpaste. I no longer do armpit checks after showers (glory be).
I still remember the first moment I saw the fuzzy fringe of hair on the backs of their sleeping heads.
And tomorrow, they will be fifteen years old. Wow.