Sunday, November 25, 2012

Funny Little Guy

There's only so much you can ever prepare yourself for from letters, written doctor's examinations, pictures, or even videos before meeting your son. Sure, I could see that he was healthy and seemingly outgoing. I knew Holden was pint-sized, had an infectious smile, had thin and wispy hair and was being taken care of by his foster family.

But, in one week, I have learned more than an entire year of reports, videos and pictures could ever illustrate.

Here's a few of my favorites:

--Little Dude is a Susie Homemaker. His favorite thing to do is pretend he's sweeping the floor with the Swiffer. Sarah even gave him his own Tupperware bowl, spatula, sponge and traveler's mug. He'll pretend to mix a concoction in the Tupperware, then "taste" the spatula, then "clean" them all with the sponge. Screw the football or the stuffed animals, he'd just assume play with mommy's "toys." He even turned the Tupperware bowl into a helmet last night. He also has his own cellphone, non-functioning of course. 
--On the other hand, he's an excellent architect. I'm by no means a childhood development expert, but I can't imagine most 21-month-olds can stack wood blocks 12 high. Even more, he'll stack and organize them two-by-two and three-by-three, or he'll separate them by color. And he puts them evenly back in their tray. I imagine he'll be excellent at puzzles. 
--He already figured out how to take the back off the TV remote where the batteries are contained, he can open doors and he even presses the power button on the TV on an off. (Actually, the last one isn't very amusing.) 
--Remember the old plastic cash register from the 70s and 80s that we all had when we were kids? The one with red, yellow and blue coins that slide in slots and come out as change on the side or inside a till drawer as a sale? Sarah still has hers, and Holden has already figured out which slots they go in and how to get them back out. 
--He's pretty independent. Leave your shoes laying out, and he'll put his own feet in them and walk. He likes to put his socks on himself, he brushes his own teeth and loves bath time, just not rinsing his hair when the water gets in his face. He loves to put lotion on his hands and face. He will take the cap off the stick of chapstick, rub the chapstick on his lips, put the cap back on, then repeat the process over and over. 
--He's quickly learned how to give a high-five and fist bump. Last night, he loved clinking his sippy cup with my glass and "cheers." He's a little overzealous and forceful, however. He needs to be more careful or he might break the glass of the person he is toasting. 
--He knows no English, and our Korean is limited to a half dozen words. But he's quickly picked up "Daddy," "No," and  "Thank You." 
--We knew he had a favorite cartoon, "Pororo the Little Penguin" in Korea, but he quickly latched on to "Thomas and Friends." 
--His laugh is adorable. If it weren't true in his case, it would be an awful Asian stereotype, but when he giggles he covers his high-pitched laughter with both hands. 
--His idea of dancing is pivoting in a circle. He also uses his TV remote as a microphone. His musical talents more closely resemble mine than of Sarah's. Enough said. 
--His only difficulties so far have been his clinging to Sarah and his adjustment to a different sleep schedule. But he has the most peculiar sleep habits. He's a thumbsucker, but that's not the weird part. He also tucks his other free hand under his chin. It's always right thumb sucked and left hand tucked. But about half the time he also sleeps in a crouched or crawl position on his knees and belly.

And that's just a snapshot of his uniqueness. I'm sure we'll learn even more about him in the coming weeks, and we look forward to each of you meeting him.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Home & Heart

Well, Holden Jae Hubbard has been home a total of 5 days now. And, yet sometimes it feels like he has been here for months. And, sometimes, just for minutes.

Travis and I can't really put into words the feelings we have had over the past week. What I can tell you is watching my son be strolled out of customs in the San Fran airport was one of the most precious moments of my life. Seeing his sweet, chubby face and whispy hair brought instant tears to me eyes.

The first night in the hotel, I took a risk and asked Holden to give me a "bobo" which is kiss in Korean. And, he looked at me for a minute, and pushed his sweet lips into my face. I was in love.

This week we haven't done much outside of getting up, playing, eating and sleeping. We are trying to keep his world small for a few days. But, tomorrow, he will meet his Grandma and Grandpa Hubbard for the second time. I hope he takes well to the experience. It will be so special.

Holden is a loving, affectionate, funny child. He loves to cuddle and hug. He loves to study things, and put things together. He loves to be nosy and curious. He loves playing outside and playing with blocks. He is VERY smart, and keeps us on our toes!! He also has a little temper when he doesn't get his way!

But perhaps my most favorite thing right now is how he calls my name...he calls me "umma" which means Mommy in Korean. And, I must admit that when I leave the room, and I hear his little voice say "Umma?", my heart melts. I kind of want him to say it a hundred times.

Isn't that a beautiful story?? I mean seriously. I couldn't CARE LESS that my son wasn't born of my stomach. It means so little. What matters is of the heart, and the way he makes me feel. What matters is the way we love him, and the way we make his world so perfect. Goodness, I love him so much.I know there will be hard times, and frustrating times. I know my patience will be tested because it already has. But, there have already been so many wonderful moments.

And, for the rest of my life, I will thank God for this most precious of gifts. That this boy's life and love was given to Travis and I. We are the ones who get this. And, how very special that is.

We love you Holden. And, we can't wait to see the joys you bring to our lives.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Time Has Come...Holden is Coming Home

For the past two mornings I have awoke to the sun breaking it's light through my window, and into my eyes. 

And just as I try to focus my vision on that perfect light...I remember. Just like a dream you have at night that something happened, but then you wake up and seconds later come to reality. 

I remember, I come to the reality. Our precious prince is coming home. 

The feelings of love I have experienced inside of myself the past few days have humbled me. I am sure now that God gives these feelings to all new mothers. Feelings for your child of deep wonder, protection and love. The gut calling to nurture and know all they are about. To learn the lines in their skin, and the meaning in their cries. To memorize the many looks their eyes can give and discover the many faces they can master and make.  To know in your heart that times are about to be tough. Times are about to be flipped upside down. Times are about to be new and amazing too. 

And, I find myself scared. I find myself asking for patience and peace. I find myself having to push back on our families (who have nothing but love to give) and their eagerness to get to know their grandson, nephew and cousin. Because at first, Holden will need time to just know his new surroundings. He will need a moment to learn his new home, new smells, new sights, and new Mommy and Daddy. 

In short: Holden is a long-awaited dream for Travis & I. And, I know things won't be perfect. I am expecting hard times, and joyous moments. But, I hope in time I can say with complete conviction that I know I was meant to be Holden's Mommy. 

In a short 72 hours, I will touch my son for the first time. I will have our first skin on skin contact since I met him in a picture 13 months ago. I can see the shine of tears glisten in his eyes, and smell him. I can squeeze him, and then pinch myself to make sure this is REAL. His cry will sound like the most beautiful song I have ever heard. His laugh might send me over the edge with happiness. 

Thank you all so much for your support. We know Holden has a lot of friends and family who can't wait to meet him. Something tells me his entire world will be wrapped in layers of love. And, he can peel them back one by one. 

As I close this post, I wanted to share something special. My Mom (Alice) had a dream about Holden nearly a year ago. In the middle of the night, she got up and wrote down the words that came to her. Here they are. I get chills every time I read them. 

"We thought our music had all played out. 
Then, she told us there might be miracle. 
A new song, just we can shout about!
Love has made a lullaby. 
A sweet and beautiful song to our hearts.