This guest post is by Mallory Rivas, an adoptive mother.
Last February, we were given the surprise of our lives, when our son was literally dropped into our laps at 3 days old.
From the time we found out about him to the time we brought him home was a mere 6 hours.
That day, February 22nd, 2016 was absolutely the best day of my life. The day our family was completed.
It’s been 14 months and life sure has changed. We have gained a lot of friends, lost a lot of family, but through it all we have always had each other.
Our son, Anikyn is a breath of fresh air, a beam of sunshine, the gold at the end of a rainbow. He is by far the happiest, most smiley baby I have ever encountered and I am so lucky to be his mother.
He started walking at 10 months old and is now running and climbing everything.
He grew this thick, brown curly hair out of nowhere, so I have dubbed him my “curly-haired wonder” sent straight from above, handmade for our family.
We officially adopted Anikyn Neymar Rivas 28 days after his homecoming on March 21st, 2016. Pretty fast in “adoption time” but for us, it felt like 30 years.
I thought after that day my anxiety would subside, but it wasn’t until we got his amended birth certificate months later that it finally calmed.
Seeing our names under Mother and Father is a feeling that I simply cannot convey in words. I’m sure there are drops of happy tears all over it. I have never held a piece of paper so close to my heart.
We often forget he is adopted. He blended so easily into our family. His big sisters, ages 9 and 6, wasted no time bonding with him.
They truly love him. They play with him all the time, hug and kiss him, tell him he is soOooOooo special and that he is the best thing EVER.
My girls said, “At first we were afraid because we have never taken care of a baby before. And now we have a baby brother!
He makes us so happy. We play karaoke together, dance party and TEA party! He is so much fun. We just love how chubby he is, his beautiful smile and curly hair. He has the best laugh. He is perfect to us.”
It’s like he was always meant to be here. This bond that the three of them created, my Triple A’s (Alayna, Avery and Anikyn), amazes me.
I was so afraid that they would not accept him, or feel bothered by him and here they are just loving him with all their might. It is a truly special bond that is beautiful to watch unfold.
I think what makes this third time around so special is that our girls get to share all the joy of his many firsts with us. They are just as happy (if not happier) than we are watching him grow up.
They share in our pure delight seeing his many “firsts” in life. First time rolling over—UNBELIEVABLE!!! Standing on his own—NO WAY! And walking on New Year’s Day—YOU ARE AMAZING BABY BROTHER!
They are his biggest cheerleaders. Given their age difference, I assumed they likely wouldn’t have a tight bond and boy have they proved me wrong. They are truly the best big sissies.
Every single day my husband, Juan and my wonderful mother, Monica, discuss how absolutely smitten we are with him.
We are the luckiest people on Earth to be gifted with this beautiful, healthy, amazing child to love.
“How did we get so lucky??” “How did we ever live without him??” “It was meant to be.”
My life has never felt so fulfilled. Juan, a man of very little sweet words said to me just the other day while Anikyn and I were laughing together, “I have never seen you happier. He completes you. When I look at him, I see you in him.”
Beautiful words. And he is right. I have truly never been this happy before in my life.
He ignited something in our family—almost woke us up from a daze. We are ALL happier. We laugh all the time.
He entertains us with his crazy dancing, his love of music (especially Bruno Mars) peek a boo and anything involving balls.
Sometimes I wake up thinking this has got to be a dream, it’s too good to be true, but nope I hear him babbling away in his crib. He just feels like ours 100%, just like our girls.
Everywhere we go, we are met with squeals of delight as this boy is a flirt! He will smile and chuckle with just about anyone.
It is so amazing to watch him make strangers faces light right up. He has a gift! They always comment on how much he looks like his Papa.
We usually just smile, agree and carry on. We never have to tell anyone our story unless we feel inclined. I am so delighted my husband has fully accepted him as his son. It hasn’t been easy for him.
Years ago, long before we had children, we briefly spoke about adoption. I remember so clearly him telling me, “I don’t think I am capable of loving another man’s child.”
I was surprised that he would be so honest with me. We never had to talk about it again as fertility was not an issue for us. So for him, to come this far and to love this child so much as his very own touches me.
When I watch them together it makes my heart skip a beat. He is proud that Anikyn is his son. And I am so happy he has a loving father to grow up with.
I don’t know what the future holds. And if my son has taught me anything, it’s that life is unpredictable.
I hope that the love we provide him is enough in his life. And if it’s not, I hope that we are strong enough to let him find what he is looking for.
Adoption is not for the weak of heart and we wouldn’t have been given this gift if we weren’t able to handle all of the unknown and anxiety that comes with it.
He is well worth everything we have been through, every doubt, every tear. It wasn’t a choice becoming his parents, it was a fact.
Mallory Rivas is the mother to two amazing girls and a son who joined their family through adoption. She and her husband will be celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary this year.
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