Nothing about our adoption has been easy or normal or even good . . . except for a nine year old boy, with big brown eyes, currently no front teeth, and a heart of gold. Few can understand why we are still doing this 27 months, 1 homestudy and 2 homestudy updates, 2 fingerprintings, 3 dossiers, an intestinal parasite, 1 earthquake, 3 active volcanoes, 1 robbery (and this was in the US!), 17 lice treatments, 22 round trip plane tickets to Guatemala, and the contents of our bank account later. Well, we’ve had our moments of just wanting to give up but the two things that keep us going are our love for this child and the joy of each long-awaited first.
You see, as I’ve grown to love this little boy, I’ve had to grieve all that I’ve missed. I’ll never have baby pictures or home videos of when he was little. I’ll never watch his dimpled legs take their first steps or hear his first word spoken. I’ll never be able to turn back time to care for him when he was sick, comfort him when he was scared, celebrate lost birthdays and Christmases, or recover years of bedtime prayers and hugs. But what I will have is just as special. I’ll have firsts that few people will ever have the gift to experience.
I’ll have sweet arms wrapped around my shoulders and hear his very first “I love you, Mama” whispered in my ear.
I’ll have pics of a little boy who knows he won the lottery when he got Brad as his daddy.
I'll have proof that he realizes girls aren’t so bad . . .
when they are your sisters.
I’ll watch two boys play trains together . . .
and pretend to be superheroes . . .
and walk hand in hand like they've always been . . .
I’ll watch a child, who once looked through garbage for food,
eat until he is full . . .
and then top it off with ice cream with his family.
I’ll get to take him to an amusement park for the first time (see, I told you there was a carousel in this story) . . .
where he hugs and thanks me after each ride . . .
and he tells me at the end of the day that it was the best day of his life.
I’ll give him his first birthday party at nine years old . . .
and watch him blow out his first birthday candle (he was so fast that my camera only got the "after", but oh what a smile).
I’ll watch him swim in a pool for the first time . . .
and laugh with his siblings . . .
and be part of the Williams family team.
I’ll get to read to him for the first time (he was very patient with my Spanish).
I’ll get to see his first dance in ocean waves (he’ll have to wait till he gets to the states to see white sand).
I'll watch him grow into a child who knows he's loved and cherished, . . .
not a guest, but a true member of our family.
I’ll get to tuck a little boy in bed for the first time and hear him thank God in his prayers for his new family. Then I’ll watch him sleep and say my own prayer thanking God for the gift of this special child.
I’ll get a phone call from him that says, “I just needed to hear my mama’s voice before I go to sleep.” And I’ll get a letter that reads, “I love you lots. I love you more than lots. I love you with all my heart and all of me. I can‘t wait to come home to the USA.”
And some day I’ll get to tell him that he is forever ours. Some day I’ll hold his little hand when we walk off an airplane and take his picture as we stand in customs with an American flag as the background of his sweet face. I’ll see a crowd of family and friends who have prayed 2 and ½ years for him holding “Welcome Home” signs. And I’ll see him hug his sisters and brother and daddy. (Well, I probably won't really see any of it because I'll be crying big ugly tears of joy.)
And then the world will open to a whole new list of firsts.
(The above post is shared through a "blog carnival" for a fabulous adoption website “Grown In My Heart.” This month’s topic is favorite adoption photos. Take a peek at the other precious faces of adoption.)