What is love anyway?

I grew up in a family where the words I love you echoed freely throughout my home multiple times a day. In my childhood, we never left the house or hung up the phone without saying I love you. It was just our thing. In my adult life, that same habit has carried over into my marriage and now my relationship with my son. I probably tell Anthony about 3,567 times a day that I love him. I say it until it absolutely annoys him! But I say it so much because I sincerely mean it from the bottom of my heart.

I have been telling these boys I love them from the first night they slept in our home. They have always repeated it back to me, but after a few days Rob told me to put it in the translator so they actually know what we were saying back and forth. I put it into the translator and Valerii looked at me with a blank look. I translated that saying from Russian to English and it translated correctly. So I took to one of our translators to have them utter these simple words to the boys in their language so they could understand. I will never forget that blank look on Valerii’s face when I knew he was understanding these words but not comprehending them.

I have continued to tell them I love you every single day, multiple times a day. I tell them because I mean it. I tell them more and more because my feelings of love for them continue to multiply. Valerii told me I love you the other day at a completely appropriate time. He also yelled to Anthony “I love you so much!” when we dropped him off at daycare.

I took to the translator again. I asked Valerii if he knew we loved him. He said yes. I asked him if he loved us too. He said yes. I asked him if he knew what love was. He smiled and said yes. I asked him what he thinks love is. He answered “Mama, Papa, and Anthony.” I couldn’t help but cry. If nothing else, we have taught these beautiful children exactly what love is. Now I know in my heart that when I say I love you, they know what it means. When I say I love you, they know I say it because I sincerely mean it from the bottom of my heart.

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