The Rivera Family
What makes a family? June 2016, we met these little people who somehow fit into every empty space we had. It was immediate, they called us Mommy and Daddy within moments of meeting.
Channel wandered into the conference room and Jose grabbed my hand under the table. We sat breathless for that moment in time. Then she asked her worker, “Are those the parents?” as she scoped us from top to bottom. He started the conversation over her Minnie Mouse ensemble and she engaged in conversation immediately. Moments later, these little and very fuzzy, curly-headed boys came in. I don’t remember anything but that they took over our cell phones and took random pictures for the remainder of that morning. Our day ended with an impromptu puppet show where Channel shared that Cow and Grass, mother and daughter, would never leave each other because they loved each other.
Several weeks later, we were allowed to bring them home. The world seemed different. We were nervous because everything we did was being watched, imitated or questioned. We shared food particular to our Puerto Rican culture and while received with hesitation have become staples in our meals. They now help put meals together while given instruction in Spanish. They are exceling in school and dreaming to be astronauts, lawyers, and doctors. Their beliefs are being shaped in love, faith and lots of questions.
Some days are harder than others. We have had a few challenges with behavior at school that resulted in suspensions and several calls home. But, over the last two years that they have been home, those calls are less and less and suspensions are practically a thing of the past. We still have connections to therapists and our support system with church and community. This has been instrumental in helping us keep the glue that is connecting us strong. We don’t always say the right things or do the right things, but when your kid is bursting at the seams to tell you about his day and his highlight is how he learned what “Doob” meant. (Actually, he was referring to D.O.B. on his state tests.) We laughed so hard, we cried. At a recent family wedding, Channel danced the ENTIRE night with nothing but a smile from ear to ear all night. Macyle is now pitching during little league games that he does with Jay.
All these random happenings are just sprinkles of how busy and connected we are. Not everything is perfect as some might imagine, but these beautiful people have made it so that we would consider adopting other children to build our family. May 15, 2018, we celebrated our 1st anniversary as an “official” family, but we were born in each other’s hearts a long time ago.