Monday, 5 December 2011
Home, 1 year later
Nearly one year ago on March 17, it was finally the day. Baby brother was coming home, and he was bringing mama with him.
I’d been in Uganda for nearly one month.
These photos were taken from the receiving end. Here’s what I was feeling on the other side.
Right now, I’m practically jittering out of my skin in the immigration office, and I couldn’t believe how slowly the officer was turning the pages of Benjamin’s packet.
Getting a luggage cart, rearranging everything, bouncing Benjamin frantically because he was DONE being in the baby carrier. My heart is POUNDING.
Running. RUNNING off the elevator because I’d spied my kids.
I forgot for a moment that there was a baby strapped to me here, I was so overwhelmed to see my older kids’ faces.
Ah, there you are. Now I’m home.
Wiping my tears. Siblings together at last.
Laughing as my crazy older boy, who doesn’t love getting his hands sticky/dirty, hides his hands from Benjamin’s drool. (At first he looked at me like something was terribly wrong with our baby because he seemed to be leaking.)
I could not squeeze them close enough to me.
I still cry at this one.
With these sparkly eyes, you’d never know that I was pretty much awake for the last 20 hours.
This girl was born to be a big sis.
This? This is us.
First family photo.
My heart is overwhelmed when I think this was (only yesterday, an eternity) a year ago. There were still many adjustments to be made at this point, and what I thought was the end of a journey was just the beginning.
I sort of can’t believe we got to do this, and I can’t believe that little guy is now sleeping next door to my bedroom every night, and I know his rhythms and he knows my heart beats for him, for all my children.
Most of all today, my heart is nearly bursting with gratitude. I looked down at his slumbering face yesterday at naptime, trying to calculate: Is this the five hundredth time I’ve put him to sleep? Seven hundredth? And his little boy face is already growing thinner and — I wouldn’t have thought it possible — even more handsome. He’s teething now and miserable sometimes but happy mostly, and found out yesterday he’s decided again to be afraid of prickly greenery, and he doesn’t like a snack right away after naptime, just give him a little while. And all of this, and everything, repeats over and over: I am the luckiest mom alive. These three children are some of my best life’s work.
I’m thankful for Benjamin.
I’m thankful for how adoption has increased our love and understanding of one another.
I’m thankful for how I’ve changed, how hope has increased and fear has shrunk, how I’m dreaming of things I never dared to dream before.
This thing, this adoption thing? Definitely one of the best things we’ve ever done.
So glad you’re here, baby. So glad you’re ours.