Oct. 20th will mark one year since we first saw Holden Jae-Min Hubbard's little face.
I was sitting in my preschool class, when my email ring tone beeped away. The title read
"INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION REFERRAL: Pictures and family information."
And, my heart jumped out of my chest.
This isn't an instance where I can say, "man that seems like yesterday." Because it doesn't. That moment seems like forever ago. Almost like it happened in a different world.
I'm sure that is because that moment was so long coming. And, most likely, it is because ever since that moment, we have been waiting for the chubby, round-faced baby to join our family.
The weekend following Oct. 20th of 2011, we met my family at Keeneland to celebrate my birthday. Travis and I wanted to keep Jae-Min a secret until we got his referral checked out by medical professionals, but we already knew.
We knew he was ours when we looked at his pictures over and over that first night. We knew he was ours when we couldn't sit right with the thought of not accepting his referral. Something in my heart hurt at the thought of letting him go.
So, that weekend, we stood in my brother's kitchen before we left for Keeneland. We asked the family to come in and gather around. And, with my heart racing, I listened to Travis tell my Mom, Dad, brother and sister-n-law about our son, their very first grandchild, and nephew.
I think everyone was caught off-guard, and excited all at once. I whipped his picture out on my phone, and showed everyone. Happiness overflowing, we headed to one of my favorite places in the world. And, we drank beer, bet on some ponies and laughed together. But, mostly what I remember from that day, is pulling out my phone every 15 minutes to stare at Holden's pictures...long before he was named Holden. :)
My sister-in-law and I blew his picture up and talked about his cute little smile, and lack of hair. We cooed over his sweet little face. A few days later, we accepted his referral with our agency.
Next weekend, we are meeting my family again at Keeneland for the 2012 Fall Meet. And, again, we will celebrate my birthday. We will drink ourselves into a tizzy, bet like we're rich, and no doubt laugh until our bellies hurt.
And, while we never know what the universe has in store, and we can't predict the future...part of me wonders if God or the powers that be have been waiting too. Maybe waiting until this fun-filled weekend draws near to send world our little man is ready to come home.
Personally, I couldn't think of a more grandiose birthday present.
But, I try not to get too excited, as painful as that can be. Because I don't know when we will get that call.
However, I do know how my heart flutters with the hope in each new day that I might hear the words: "You're son is coming HOME."
I do know how let down we are at the end of each week when we didn't get "the call." And, I do know how important it is to make the most of this time "pre-baby" so that I can be the best mom once he is home.
I'm turning 32 in a week and a half...so many beautiful things to look forward too.