Paperwork and social worker visits and drives to get papers signed, certified, and apostilled kept me busy. Finally the day came when we left to meet him. The pain of leaving the other children behind was too much for me, and I cried silently on the way to the airport. Luci kept us occupied on the plane ride ;) so not much time to worry about the children left behind or the child we were going to meet.
And then, we met him. And he was everything I had dreamed of. I had anticipated crying and hugging him, but he had different ideas! He firmly took my hand and marched me to group bc it was time for circle and that was it. We sat behind him, kissing his hand and marveling at this real child, finally, no longer a picture to look at, but a real child. Sometimes I think with photo listings it's too easy to fall in love with a picture and we forget these are REAL children, waiting for families to call their own. I think pictures can make it too easy to say, not this one, I don't like this card, this one is prettier.
This mothers day, my arms are aching to hold our girls, our Lanie and our Jocelyn. I KNOW this time we will have more struggles, simply based on the girls current functioning. Neither girl is walking or talking, neither can feed themselves. And the song, "I will follow you into the dark" plays in my head. I will follow both of them, wherever they need to go. If we need to walk into the dark and sit and be still for a while, then that is what we will do. There is sacrifice on both sides of this adoption journey.
Our adopted children's biological parents gave them up, whether they were ashamed of their disabilities or simply couldn't care for them I will never know. But it is a sacrifice. To never see Eli smiling and laughing, to never kiss his tears away and hold him tight. To never hear him call "mama" when he needs me or wants to tell me something, it is a sacrifice. We are sacrificing our easy world. Life is good and simple right now, with very few struggles. And it is okay that it may be hard when we bring the girls home. We will grow stronger from the struggle. Our children will see that good things are worth waiting for. They will understand that hard work brings great rewards.
We want them to understand that there is always room for one more, in your heart and in your home. These aren't just words we want them to hear. We want them to see it for themselves. See that it is okay to give up a comfortable life for someone else. The greatest gift I can give my children is to teach them to care for others, to sacrifice your wants and needs to help someone else. I hope they will someday understand what we are trying to do and what we are trying to teach them.
Soon enough, I will be holding these two tight in my arms, following them on their journey to healing. And I cannot wait until that day is here!