I began Jacob's adoption process in May, 2006. It was mostly paperwork and dreaming of having a baby until November, 2006. That was the day that I found Jacob on a waiting child list and knew instantly he was my son. It still wasn't real yet. I spent the next few months finishing paperwork and buying clothes. At some point in time my friend Brooke called and told me she was free the next weekend. She stated she was coming over and we were painting the nursery. I'm still not sure I could have actually gotten to that point without her. It made the journey too real and also too scary in case something went wrong.
The feeling that it was all just a big game and a dream came to a screaching halt two years ago today. Valentine's day will never be the same again.
I came home from lunch and running some errands. I was scheduled to volunteer at an after school program at a nearby elementary school and needed to get ready. I got home to find a message on my phone from the adoption agency. Jacob's case had passed through court and he was now officially my son. Talk about a strange feeling. To know that you are the legal parent of a child you have never met in a different continent on the other side of the world. In a place you have heard about and seen pictures of but only dreamed of ever visiting.
A few minutes later, the phone rang. My travel date had been assigned. Could I be in Ethiopia by March 10? Preferably March 9 in the evening? The answer was a very excited yes! I had a mixture of emotions at that time. Joy, excitement, fear and anxiety all at the same time. I immediately called my dad and told him to book flights to Ethiopia. I called my mom and told her to tell her boss she would not be at work for a couple of weeks in March. I called scheduling at my job and told them to take me off the schedule for 12 weeks beginning March 8. I yelled, screamed, cried and was just overcome with emotion. It was definitelly one of the best days of my life. Only comparable to the day I found Jacob on the waiting child list and the day, the day I met him (March 10, 2007) and the day I took physical custody of him (March 14, 2007). I can still feel the emotion of that day and feel tears welling up two years later.
The next three weeks were pretty much a blur. Most of the time I was excited and counting the days until I would leave. Some days I was scared and a few times I was panicked. I remember one day having an overwhelming urge to get in the car and drive as far away as I could and hide. I called a friend who reminded me that I would be a good mom and that I had nothing to fear.
The rest of the story is history and one I will recall as I near Jacob's second family day. That is the second anniversary of when I took physical custody of Jacob and he was officially a member of my family. If you want to see my entries from my final weeks waiting for Jacob, look at the entries here from 2007. It has been a wonderful journey and I am truly blessed to have my son with me. Becoming a parent was the best thing I have ever done.