From the time he was tiny, we've told him over and over how loved he is. How much we adore and cherish him. What an honour it is to be his parents. We curled up together and read his favourite book, Love You Forever.
But even our little one needs reassurances. We all do. Which is a good reminder for adoptive parents.
Last week Noah had his usual tuck-in, followed by his routine re-emergence from his bedroom. Typically the excuse for late-night roaming is "I need more water" or "You didn't tuck me in quite right".
It had gotten to the point where I've declared "If you're not bleeding, and nothing is on fire, you can stay in bed!" (Which worked until a few weeks ago when his chapped lip cracked and he declared triumphantly "MOMMA I'M BLEEDING! CAN I GET UP NOW?")
Last week was different. He didn't come out for water or an extra tuck-in. He needed reassurances.
"Momma, there's something I've been meaning to ask you," (this at 8pm from my articulate 5 year old who had just escaped from his room for the third time that night).
"Okay, ONE last question, then it's bed time." I winked at him.
"Well, it's really important. I've been thinking about it for a long time now when I go to bed."
"Okay, Noah. What is it?"
"Are you glad you adopted me?"
A thousand thoughts raced through my head. He was serious. He genuinely needed to hear that we were glad he had joined our family. For the thousandth time.
I answered his question. With a tackling bear hug, a thousand kisses (which he promptly "wiped IN" instead of wiping off) and a dozen affirmations "Of COURSE! YES! We love you infinity!"
His smile said it all ... our usually confident little man just needed to hear and be reassured that he was wanted and his place in our family was secure.
It's a good reminder. Even if our children don't voice their thoughts about adoption, they are thinking about it. Late at night after we tuck them in. They wonder, they imagine, and if we're lucky, they bring those concerns to light.
So reassure your little ones. And your big ones, who might be reluctant to ask and may pretend not to care.
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."
- Robert Munsch (adoptive parent).