In the last year, we’ve gotten used to being a family of 5. I’m not sure I’ve written anything at all about this, and I’m not really in the mood to delve into past posts to check what I’ve already shared.

There is a story that is really long that I’ll save for another day, but here’s the shortest version I can think of: We happily adopted another child, bring the number of kids to 3. We are outnumbered.

With 2 kids, life had reached some sense of stability after nearly two years of sibling chaos and a thousand little stories that’ll probably go untold. Unexpectedly adding a third child into the mix, while a happy event, turned life upside down. Even today, a year later after placement and a month or so since the adoption day, it’s not easy.

Not that I expected parenthood to be easy. I knew it’d be hard and rewarding. It is hard and rewarding. Yet the type of hardships we’ve gone through and still go through haven’t been anything what I’ve expected. The rewards are mostly what I expected: a chance to love kids of our own and be loved in return.

People say we did the kids a kindness by adopting them, or make it out to be some majorly noble thing to do. Adopting the kids was primarily a selfish thing. We wanted kids to love that were OURS to love. This was how we could make that possible. THEY, the children, have given us so much. I can argue they’re the ones being kind, which is kinda hard when one’s screaming at me “you’re not my real family!”

Yeah, that happened. And that was a sucky moment.

Other moments are beautiful and there are plenty of these. Our third child attached to my wife within a month. With me, he was hostile for nearly 6 months, then ambivalent, and finally open enough to express some affection. He’s been with us for a year now, and lately I get these tiny little hand gestures that he’ll hide from anyone’s sight except my own: the I Love You handshape in ASL. He can’t say it yet, but I’m okay with it.

I am going to grow on him like mold on cheese. Just give me time.