FIVE YEARS AGO…

Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. – Lilo & Stitch

Nathanael — for reasons unknown — asks for warm milk with his cereal.
That makes him commit the heresy of milk first then cereal. But I forgive him for this sin each and every morning.
The other day, went to get cereal after putting the bowl of milk in the microwave when it dawned on me: I forgot to buy more cereal the previous night. Crud. 
But we move on to his second favorite breakfast: Ketchup with a side of scrambled eggs.
That doesn’t stop him from asking, “Daddy where’s the cereal?” and “Daddy, why did you forget to get cereal?” Get you someone that loves you like my boy loves cereal.
Although, I suspect that cereal was a comfort food for him before he met us…

That night, as my wife went to Krogers to pick up snacks for our Wednesday evening bible study, I pleaded with her to not forget the cereal. I can do without the judgmental questions first thing in the morning.

Today, I put the bowl of milk in the microwave, still waking up.
Told Nathanael that mom got him cereal last night and pulled out the box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (don’t judge).

The. Joy.
His face lit up and he smiled his patented crescent-eyed-mouth-wide-open-smile of his.
Hands flapping, he squealed: I’m so excited Mommy got me cereal!
It was still too early in the morning for that kind of energy and excitement, but dammit if his joy for life isn’t contagious and endearing.
He has so much to teach me about joy, gratitude, and life.
The little things I’d take for granted, he is able to find joy in them.

When this post goes live, it’ll been 5 years since we met Nathanael. Five!!!
Where does the time go?
It’s unfortunate that time only goes forward.
And a shame that it goes so fast.

But what a journey it has been.
A “makeshift” family, I called us in the beginning.
Instead of drawing out this post with more words, just going to share with you some pictures throughout our lives together.
I’ve always been nervous (irrationally, for the most part) about sharing his pictures and his name throughout the years.
But no more. And I’m making up for all the years I didn’t post pictures of him on this blog.

Nathanael, oh how truly and deeply loved you are.


Day #1. On our way home on the 101
Day #2. Waking up in his new room
What N saw when his diaper was being changed. Not pictured: the strong smell of Vick’s Vapor Rub.
His second time at the zoo (he was scared out of his mind the first time at the zoo)
First Onesie
Santa Barbara State Beach. #Fashionista
First LONG car trip. Drove to San Francisco to meet my best friend who flew in from Okinawa
So cute! Nathanael, too
Walking like he owns the ‘hood
Stylin’
First Family Vacation in San Diego. Livin’ the good life, I suppose.
face paint from school
Face off. Alice Keck Park. California, I miss you.
Turtles!
In N Out > Whataburger. Don’t @ me
You turn around for one second and someone lets him go to town on Cheetos
“Why is mom wearing a flower on her ear?”
Adoption Day!
Signing the papers. “Don’t make a stupid joke” mantra running through my head
Goodbye, California!
First WWE event at the Toyota Center
Sort of ironic that his first experience with snow is in TEXAS!
Palm Sunday 2017. One of my favorite pictures of him. Look at the joy!
Baptism, Easter 2017!
How many times have we gone to PCR?
He let everyone know he caught that fish.

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