Sunday, November 25, 2012


I packed my bags, methodically, my thoughts drifting back to trip one, what was needed, what could have been left behind.  I throw in my travel pillow, chocolate bar, gum and magazines.  I leave out the novel I'd hoped to read on the plane last time, knowing my thoughts will be too scattered to focus on a novel.  I smile as I pack new things: a size 2T shirt, two small hats, the most adorable little boy shoes.  This trip I get to dress him, see what size of clothes I get to come home and hang in his closet.  This trip, he will officially become a brother, a son.  

I procrastinate cleaning my home, getting it ready for the incredibly nice man who will stay here and run our small business while we're gone.  I load the dishwasher, scrub the floors, clean the toilets.  I pack my kids' clothes and toothbrushes and try not to think about how much my heart will miss them. The past two weeks I've talked to them about leaving again, answering their questions and giving extra hugs and playtime.  I want to tell them that soon, mom won't always be thinking about paperwork, judges, timelines, and emails.  Soon, we will be focusing on our new family.

I remember driving to the hospital with the impending births of all three of my children.  I anticipated the relief associated with giving birth, feeling my body breathe for the first time in months with all that new space.  I remember the moment I laid eyes on them.  I remember being amazed that my heart could immediately love such a tiny, noisy little being I had never seen before.

I think about the miracle of adoption.  A mother's love for and bond with her child has been well documented for centuries, from the way a mother's scent is immediately known to the newborn, to the way a child's cry can let the mother's milk down.  There are physiological designs in our bodies that make us care for our children, and that make them love us just as much.  Adoption has none of these physiological designs.  A stranger's child, someone else's mother, are suddenly put together and called "family."  By all accounts, this new bond should never become as strong as a biological mother and child.  And yet, here I sit, my heart aching to hold my son.  When I think of his face, his smile, I feel that same burning inside that I felt when I'd think of my newborn children.  I feel the bonding taking place in my heart, in my soul, and it is miraculous.  How does one explain this?  It is easy to explain biological bonding, but adoption-bonding, that is a miracle.  I believe in miracles.

Tonight I think about our big court day.  We will stand in front of a judge who will question us about so many things: what is our income?  Why are we adopting when we can have children of our own?  Why adopt a child from Russia?  Why a child with Down syndrome?  Are we sure we don't want another child, one without a disability?  What if we don't like him, will we send him back (it hurts to know that this is a standard question)?  I think about our answers for such questions.  Six years ago our lives were set on a path we didn't choose, but a path we are so grateful to have traveled.  It has not always been an easy path.  Like anything that fundamentally changes us, it has been first a source of deep pain and then indescribable joy.  Our eyes have been opened to the needs of others.  Our focus has shifted from ourselves to that of all disadvantaged people. We see the importance of the right of all to live their lives to the fullest.  So when the judge asks us, "why?" we will tell him/her, "because every child deserves to live in a family.  Every child is worthy of love.  We can give that to this child.  We can provide for him, not only financially, but emotionally.  We will provide all that he needs to live up to his greatest potential."

Tonight I am happy to think about  holding a boy who has so much love to give.  I am happy to think about telling the judge and the world that this child is worthy of all of the same love and affection as my other children.  I am happy.  I am grateful.

See you on the other side of the world.

photo (18)


  1. Crying like a baby. So happy for you. This is just beautiful. Prayers on your travels and court date.

  2. Good luck to you! I was thinking about you guys yesterday and the trip you're beginning around the world! I loved this post.