December 21st marked the one year anniversary of the arrival home of our baby Wee. The picture above was taken on the drive home from NYC. If this wasn’t special enough, we also learned that he will celebrate his adoption day January 3rd. We are so thrilled to finally have this day scheduled for many reasons. Officially he will be ours forever and when the judge signs his adoption decree, he will become a U.S. citizen. This is a monumental day in his life and our life as his parents.
Wee’s adoption day also marks the end of our six year journey through adoption. There have been so many wonderful and beautiful moments since we decided to adopt. However, the process of adoption is exhausting and stressful. It will be nice to put the paperwork, form-filing, and extensive waiting behind us. Even though Wee was ours the second we saw his photo (on Valentine’s Day 2010), it will be a relief to have all official documents signed, sealed and delivered.
So much has happened since Spring 2006 when we made the decision to pursue adoption. There have been a lot of ups and downs. Many moments of pure joy and sadness. Waiting months upon months for your child to come home is extremely difficult. Knowing he is thousands of miles away growing, learning and experiencing so many firsts without you can truly test your heart’s ability to cope. It was also difficult to decide how and when to adopt a second time. Having to round up another $25,000 to make it happen was a challenge. We knew we would find a way, but nevertheless the price tag of adoption is daunting. Thank goodness we were able to make it happen a second time.
For as long as I live I will never forget what it was like to see and hold my babies for the first time- not in a hospital but an airport. After so many months of viewing pictures and dreaming of what they smelled like, sounded like, and felt like in my arms my breath never felt deeper or more at ease than the moment I embraced my two boys. We are lucky because both of our sons were completely at ease with us the moment we met. They were not scared or unhappy. It was as if we had always known each other and simply waited for our day to be together. Destiny.
As I anticipate the birth of our third child, I understand that the day we meet will be similar but different and special in its own way. It has taken me a long time to grasp that I am pregnant. Dreams don’t always become reality. I dreamed so long of pregnancy my mind simply could not accept that it was really happening. Each day that passes, my due date approaching, new realizations come to light. Some are simple and some are profound.
While wrapping our presents and adhering the labels, it occurred to me that next year I will be writing five names under “from.” Wow. Who will this person be and what will they be called? As I placed our stockings on the mantel, I thought, next year we will need to move them down and make room for one more. The stockings embroidered with “AJ” and “Erica” that once stood alone are now crowded out by those of three beautiful children. It is things like this that leave me awe-struck.
Each one of my children has made a dream come true. They have been my saviors from a deep and debilitating grief. My oldest, Min allowed me to become a mommy. His arrival relieved a pain that at one point seemed insurmountable. Baby Wee allowed me the chance to raise another baby and to see Min’s own dream of big brotherhood come true. He completed our family in a way only he could with his funny personality and kind little heart. And my unborn baby has allowed me to experience pregnancy and understand all that it entails. I no longer have to wonder if it will ever happen for us. I no longer feel that sense of longing. And while I will not feel completely at ease until baby is born, no matter what happens, this little being has given me so many gifts already.
My children have all fulfilled dreams- long, hard-fought dreams. But what is most profound is that all of them fulfilled dreams I didn’t know I had 9 years ago when we thought that parenthood was just a nine month jaunt away.
As we stand before the judge on January third another milestone is taking place. That very day I will have entered my third trimester; the day we meet our newborn baby grows ever closer. More fulfilled visions to come as we get to introduce oUr boys to their brother or sister. Three little faces, all ours. All of them miracles in their own right.