Sunday, March 14, 2010
Happy Family Day Jacob!
Today is a very special day at our house. It was three years ago today that I took custody of Jacob and he became my son. I still remember it like it was yesterday and it only feels like it's been a few months. Time just flies.
I met Jacob for the first time on March 10, 2007. Jacob made it clear almost right away that I was his mommy and he didn't want to stay at the orphanage. When the nannies interacted with him, he would look back at me to make sure I wasn't leaving. The first day I left, he seemed happy to go help the nannies. When I came back two days later to see him again, he began laughing, screaming and giggling as I walked up the path to his building. He ran to the door to the room and met me there with a huge smile. I will never forget the pure joy he had when he realized I was actually there to be his mommy and not just to play for a day.
Jacob and I had a wonderful time together over the next two days but it always ended with him going back to the care center for the night. He would cry when I dropped him off and I would cry at the thought of leaving him where he didn't want to be. He really didn't want to be without a mommy any longer. The third day, March 13, 2007, he began crying as soon as we got to the building. I thought we were leaving right away so I gave him to a nanny and walked outside. Another family got delayed dropping off a child so I stood outside the building for about 10 minutes. I could hear Jacob screaming and crying the entire time. It was heart wrenching to leave him so sad and upset knowing that it was because he didn't understand why I was leaving him again.
That all changed the next day, March 14, 2007. I wouldn't see Jacob until late in the afternoon at the good bye ceremony. I anxiously waited for time to pass all day. Finally we got to go to the care center and I saw Jacob in his traditional outfit. The nannies formally handed each child to their new parents as custody was transferred. The children sang, everyone prayed, the children's handprints were left on a wall and we bacame a family. It's a day I will never forget.
Jacob never had to return to the care center alone after that. He slept in my room at the guest house and woke up with a smile. A few months ago, he told me he still remembers the first day we met and that first night we slept together. He woke up in his toddler bed, looked over at me and just smiled a huge smile. He told me it was "because you were really my mommy. You weren't leaving me." Three years later and he still remembers those feelings and that moment.
I know it wasn't love at first sight. Not real love. That took time to develop. It was an overwhelming need, desire and joy at finally having a mommy to love him and care for him. My love for him was one of being a mom and not to him specifically. Over the following days and months that love would turn to attachment and love for us as mother and son. A true miracle and gift from God.
The past three years have been magical. There have been ups and downs just like in everything in life. I would be lying if I said it has been perfect. We both have our days where we are tired or sick or just plain cranky. But even on our worst days we still have each other and that is what makes this journey so magical. We have become mother and son and love every day that we get to be together. I often tell Jacob that I don't always like the things he does but I always love him. He tells me the same when he gets mad at me. That is part of parenthood.
I would not trade these past three years for anything. I still am amazed when I look at him. I'm amazed that he is my son and that I am this blessed. I am amazed that God gave me such a wonderful little boy and that complete strangers blessed me by allowing me to adopt him. The entire adoption journey is awe inspiring and one I am so grateful for.
Three years has passed and Jacob is now 4 1/2 years old. He can run, jump, ride a bike, and is beginning to learn to read. He is growing up and it makes me happy, proud and sad. I miss the baby that I adopted but am so proud of the person he is becoming.
Three years ago Jacob was a young toddler who finally found his forever mommy and loved it. Today he is experiencing a different view of adoption as he watches his little brother's adoption journey. We are a family of three today but he will always be my first adoption and first son.
Jacob, I love you. I am so glad you are my son and that we are a family forever. Three years has gone fast and been a wonderful journey. I look forward to our continued lives together as mother and son.