Three years ago my husband and I knew we wanted to adopt. We had chosen the agency, decided on international adoption, and knew which country. We were not completely ready to put in our paperwork. Financials held us back and emotionally we needed a little more time before we were completely up to the challenge of adoption. But we were sure adoption was the way we would become parents.
In October of 2007 we had our first meeting coordinated by our adoption agency. It was a gathering at the social worker's home. Over bagels and coffee we met six other couples who were at different stages of their adoption journey. Some were there just for information, others had recently received their "referral" and knew who their son or daughter would be, and there were two couples who were just waiting for that call. The call that would put them on a plane to meeting their new son or daughter. I remember distinctly the names of the babies in waiting, Priscilla and Charlie. We also got to meet two families and their children. This helped me to fully embrace adoption. Seeing these parents and their children helped me to envision what my family would be like, look like. Meeting their children helped all the emotions I had stirring in my gut- anxiety, fear, excitement, sadness- swirl together into one emotion, anticipation of being a mother. I was so happy knowing I would definitely be a mother.
We had our home study in November of 2007. The interview process was a nice experience. We were happy to tell our story and why we wanted to adopt a child. Two weeks later, as promised, I received a phone call at work. We were having a boy! What an amazing day. Better yet was the next day when we made the 25 minute drive to the social worker's home to find out more information about our son and see his face. We chose to hear his story before seeing his picture. We listened intently and learned about his health and progression as a 10 month old.
Finally M. revealed his picture and both our jaws dropped. He was sooooo cute. And the name that we had always wanted for a boy suited him. My heart was in my throat. And I wanted him home that day. I loved him already.
Christmas was a wonderful time. After so many years of wishing we would receive gifts for our baby, it was amazing to open box after box of items for our little boy. The pictures we had of him were placed in ornament frames adorned on everyone's Christmas trees. We included his picture in our Christmas card.
"Happy Holidays." And, by the way... here is our SON! In case you didn't know...
The months went on and we prepared or "nested" as people say. The crib arrived and was assembled. Gifts were placed in the room, clothes hung in the closet, toys found their spot in the house. We had an idea of when he would be home, but there was a glitch with our fingerprints that delayed his arrival by about 2 months.
Min man's birthday is in March. Originally we thought he would be home by his first birthday. That was a little difficult. Then Mother's Day came and went. One Saturday afternoon I received photos of Min man on his first birthday. They were absolutely amazing. This was the first time we saw his brilliant smile. I wish you could all see it. His smile lights up his entire face. His smile would light up your face instantaneously.
We went to NYC to pick up our son on June 3, 2008. We made it back to Rochester (home) by June 4. When we got off the plane, we were greeted by a huge crowd of friends and relatives. This was our moment to relish. We were new parents and our son was home. There was not a dry eye in the house.
As my SIL said, "What a magical way to become a parent."
Today we received the long awaited Certificate of Citizenship from Immigration and Naturalization. Even though Min man became a citizenship on his adoption day, we needed this final document to make everything official according to our government. This was a fact we were surprised by when applying for his social security card shortly after his adoption day.
It is hard to believe there is nothing left to do. No more forms to fill out or money to pay in order to declare he is ours and a U. S. citizen.
Even though the road has been long, (including all the years of infertility treatments) kissing my son good night never gets old. Hearing his voice and silly comments make me get out of bed in the morning. That smile can change the world.
Our beginning started a very long time ago. But every day is a new beginning. Every day with a child is a new opportunity to be a better person and parent.
Thank goodness I have my son to keep things in perspective. The delight he has in a butterfly or big truck driving down the road remind me that life really can be simple.
I hope I can always view life through his eyes. Even when he is a grown man, he will always be my baby.