I've spent the last three hours sitting in some peace and quiet, drinking coffee and chatting it up with other adoptive mothers.
You see, I am a little nervous, and a whole lot of excited to bring my little boy home. I imagine sleepy Saturday mornings cuddled up to a crescent-eyed beauty with little puffs of dark brown hair poking through my sheets. I imagine busy afternoons stacking blocks, working puzzles and getting messy with markers as I watch the wonder of childhood unfold in front of me. I dream about kissing away tears from first boo boos and celebrating special moments like his first English word. :)
But, I fear too. Deep in my gut, I wonder if I have it in me to be the BEST Mommy I can be. I wonder if I can handle the heartache that can and often does accompany international adoption homecomings.
I'm not viewing my world through rose-colored glasses. Believe me. I know this homecoming may not be (and probably won't be) like the movies. Odds are Holden will be all smiles and laughs at the airport, and things will come crashing into a million pieces that first night at bedtime. Our son may not like us too much a first. He may push us away, scream at the sight of one of us, or even bite or worse. And, that, WILL hurt.
He may not want to be held, or comforted by us at first. He may seem distant or angry. And that WILL hurt.
I mean goodness...we have PATIENTLY waited for this moment for two years. That's more than a double pregnancy! We have looked at his pictures, studied his features. We have laid in bed 100 times on Sunday mornings and watched the same videos of him over and over and over again just to hear his laugh or see his eyes light up. I replay the hiccup every time. :) Yes, we are obsessed. We are already in love with this little soul. But, he doesn't know us.
So, this is what I've come up with.
If our son is culture-shocked and frustrated with the sight of a dozen white Americans that look nothing like his current view of the world, who can blame him? If he is scared of new smells, new sounds and a new home, who wouldn't be? If he doesn't immediately feel comforted or content, so what?
He has learned to love another family for the first 18 months of his little life. And, that is actually a GOOD thing!! He has learned to bond. Which means, he will hopefully bond again with us.
With time, these things will change. With love and consistency, our son will find his place. And, Travis and I have so much love to give him. I've taken advice from so many of you. My Mom, my best friend, my sister in law, my co-worker, my extended family and adoptive mommies out there.
But, I think I'll know what to do when the time comes. My gut is honest with me, and her voice is loud.
It's funny how these things work. Holden wasn't created by our genes. He didn't bloom and grow inside my stomach. He has never laid against my skin, or felt my lips kiss his. He has never felt Daddy's hands brush the hair out of his face or gently rock him to sleep. He has never seen a picture of his grandparents or heard their voice. YET, love is overflowing for him here in Kentucky. I'd venture to say, he is adored. Absolutely ADORED. And, that will help shape his new world. Adoption is such a beautiful experience. It is hard to put into words how much you can love a little soul half-way across the world.
I can't believe our adoption journey is almost at the point of delivering our son home.
Holden's delivery won't be one of a hospital and pain-numbing medicine. There won't be any doctors or nurses or ice chips. But, believe me. There has been pain. Both physical, mental and emotional. Gut-wrenching at times. And, there has been sweat. And, there will be sleepless nights, and tired tears.
Nothing worth anything is ever easy. I believe that. So, we are preparing for the tough, but hoping for the best. And, we will be happy with the in-between. Adoption has really taught me so much. It has really calmed this old girl down. I am thankful for that.
We need to remember patience. And, we need to allow ourselves time to adjust. It's the common law of human beings. And who knows, Holden might defy all our worries, and come home laughing with us right from the word go.