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.

waiting for mom and brother

 

Getting a luggage cart, rearranging everything, bouncing Benjamin frantically because he was DONE being in the baby carrier. My heart is POUNDING.

watching

 

Running. RUNNING off the elevator because I’d spied my kids.

there they are

 

I forgot for a moment that there was a baby strapped to me here, I was so overwhelmed to see my older kids’ faces.

love

 

Ah, there you are. Now I’m home.

DSC_0820B&W

 

Wiping my tears. Siblings together at last.

giggles

 

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.)

DSC_0895B&W

 

I could not squeeze them close enough to me.

DSC_0829B&W

 

I still cry at this one.

DSC_0839

 

With these sparkly eyes, you’d never know that I was pretty much awake for the last 20 hours.

those eyes

 

This girl was born to be a big sis.

sweet big sister

 

This? This is us.

my favorite

 

First family photo.

family of five

 

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.

Thanks over and over to the beautiful Stacey Montgomery, who came to the airport to capture these moments. And capture them she did, amIright?
Linking with Michelle.

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9 comments on “Home, 1 year later

  1. Oh, how beautiful pictures! What a touching story! Thank you SO much for sharing! May our Heavenly Father bless each and everyone of you!

  2. Debbie says:

    What a wonderful reunion!

  3. Tereasa says:

    You made me cry! You are so blessed to have those pictures! They are truly a treasure to be cherished.

    I am a fellow adoptive mom. Found you through a comment on Mari-Anna’s blog. I hope we can be an encouragement to one another in the journey.

  4. Jill says:

    Beautiful, wonderful story. Thank you for sharing! I have some friends who are adoptive parents and I love hearing wonderful success stories 🙂

  5. stacey says:

    Smiling big and welling up as I read your thoughts behind the photos. Thank you for sharing this. So wonderful to see these images through your eyes. I thank YOU for allowing me to photograph the story of your homecoming. I loved every minute. (And the photo of you and Audrey just breaks me every time I see it.)

    Your adoption story is beautiful and I have enjoyed reading your blog the past year as you’ve sorted through all the emotions of this experience. Appreciate your honesty, Kim. Keep writing and sharing. 🙂

  6. Beautiful, Kim. Simply beautiful.

  7. Keri D says:

    Thank you for writing so honestly about adoption! My husband and I are just beginning the adoption process. I’m trying not to dream of a fairy tale and instead be more realistic about it all.
    The photos in this post are beautiful! You just gave me the idea of having a professional photographer at our homecoming! Thank you, again!

    I’ve been exploring your blog off and on all day. Please keep writing! I definitely want and need to read more.

  8. So beautiful. What a gift to have these images!

  9. Just had a chance to read this, and now I’m all weepy. In a good way. Beautiful.