Today is Clayton’s 7th birthday and what an amazing 7 year old he is. He is caring, courageous, inquisitive, earnest, compassionate and totally gorgeous. He has come into our lives and turned my world totally upside down.
I am conscious that I have said little about this. As opposed to when Nina came into our lives and we celebrated with ceremonies, people brought gifts and we filled albums and our social media pages with endless photos and anecdotes. When Clayton moved in with us for half his week 10 months ago he snuck in quietly, which is very much his style. Apart from sharing with close friends and family not much was said and he just became part of our lives. So much so that sometimes I just feel he belongs with us. But I am also aware that he belongs to another family and that is as it should be and this is only the first birthday I have celebrated with him. I had being thinking about this a lot – how do I honour this and celebrate? Yes there are things about the situation that isn’t considered ideal but what situation is and who decides that anyway for there is so much about Clayton and his unique situation that is wonderful and life giving to all of us.
Then yesterday, I took a cake to Clayton’s school to celebrate with his class. His nanna, my dear friend, with whom we share care, and the gentlest and wisest woman I know was with me. We were told parents usually share a story about the child. As I was over thinking this as I am known to do, she began a story by telling the class that Clayton had a big family – akgnerre anthurre”. She said that Clayton’s dad was her son but that he also had other parents – Martin and I. She has said that Martin is also her son and thus as his aunt and uncle we were also his parents. She talked about her family and Clayton’s family and their connection to this land. The children chimed in with words like humungous to help describe it and I was filled with such gratitude to be included in it and to be in their lives.
Yes it is a complicated situation and much remains uncertain but this I feel certain of. God has blessed us with two of his precious children to care for, for this time, but neither really belong to us. For them and the different ways they came into lives we are grateful. Today especially, I give thanks for and pray for Clayton. If you are that way inclined please remember him and us in your prayers today.