My son is 25% boy and 75% snot. Although we were finally getting the hang of sleep at night, all night long, today we are bleary-eyed and grumpy. And slimy (see above re: snot).
It’s not what I pictured when I imagined this day. In my daydreams we are smiley and dressed in our best (and naturally I’m 20 lbs skinnier). We stand before a stern but fatherly judge and solemnly vow to love, honour and cherish our son forever and ever amen. The audience of happy, tearful friends and family cheers wildly. The sky is filled with fireworks and/or flower petals floating in the wind (I can’t decide), as our family walks arm in arm out the front door of a quaint old courthouse.
Choruses of angels sing. A flock of doves bursts into flight. Adoption Finalized!
Roll the credits.
Reality is a lot less like the wrap-up of a sitcom. Today, at 11:41 a.m. on a Tuesday, we get an email from the Social Worker. “Congratulations! It’s official. His new birth certificate is in the mail.”
No fireworks. No cheering audience. No solemn vows. Just a lot of paperwork and waiting and an anti-climatic finish.
“What to Expect When You’re Adopting” has a lot more blank pages than traditional family growth. There’s no standard 9+month timetable. No firmly established rituals as we transition into a new version of us. We make it up as we go along. And I wonder if the rest of the world realizes that it’s every bit as Miraculous, Thrilling, and Magical.
We were “expecting” for almost 3 years. The labour and delivery wasn’t quite as bloody as most, but terribly hard work. We don’t track it in hours or even days, but months. 7 1/2 months since we brought him home. 7 1/2 months of making him our own. 7 1/2 months of making us his own. Until today, at 11:41 a.m. on a Tuesday. Adoption Finalized.
We’ve been a family for a long time. I wondered if this would make any difference at all. Would it calm the last vestiges of irrational “what-ifs” in my mind? Would it matter?
Despite the lack of fanfare, the answer is: absolutely.
Another heart clenching, surreal, overload of emotion as we close this chapter. And I held him extra tight, snot and all, in the middle of our everyday, hustle-bustle life. You might not know it to look at us, but something amazing happened today!
So here’s us, officially, legally, forever a family.
February 6th, 2013 at 1:39 pm
Congratulations Hoo’s Family…..ALL of you!!!!!!
February 6th, 2013 at 1:46 pm
yeah!!! congrats, that is the best news!
February 6th, 2013 at 4:17 pm
February 6th, 2013 at 4:44 pm
Congratulations. I love you little boy… make this day a celebration every year… so thankful.
February 6th, 2013 at 7:17 pm
Gotcha Day! Definitely a big deal… we’ll pull together some kind of party in the next few weeks. We’ll keep you posted! Thank you for getting us all here!
February 6th, 2013 at 8:31 pm
Congrats!!! So happy for you….we are all cheering for you and throwing our dishcloths in the air (maybe that helps!) Love the Wade’s
February 6th, 2013 at 8:34 pm
Yay! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate. Except maybe chocolate. Thanks!
February 7th, 2013 at 6:56 am
That is so awesome….fanfare or not!
February 7th, 2013 at 1:37 pm
I seem to remember you suggesting at some point that ‘when you can blow your nose in front of someone, you know it’s really love.’ Perhaps there is a poetic justice to your day of celebration being one of those draggy motherhood-aint-for-wimps days…. 😉
February 8th, 2013 at 1:05 pm
Poetic! And true!
February 8th, 2013 at 1:03 pm
Congratulations! My boys are so thrilled to finally have a boy cousin to play with! Love to you all from over the seas!
February 8th, 2013 at 1:05 pm
Glad we can contribute to the cousin-fun!
February 12th, 2013 at 11:41 am
That is wonderful! Congratulations to you on your family’s big day!
April 12th, 2013 at 11:54 am
As an adoptee myself I had to comment on this perfectly written post.
You’re right, there is a lot less fanfare with adoption than when someone announces their pregnancy and suddenly baby showers are being planned and the design of the nursery becomes the priority in the house.
I’m now 33 and have 3 biological children of my own. I feel blessed in so many ways and yet adoption is always with me…not it in way that plagues me. It gives me wisdom and reminds me of my own strength during those times I forget my own worth.
I wish you and your family all the best, relish in every moment…snots and all!! It’s one huge blessing!!!
April 12th, 2013 at 2:09 pm
Thanks for sharing a piece of your story with me. I’m absolutely thrilled to hear from an adoptee! I try to be cool about it whenever I talk to someone who mentions they were adopted, but I’m dying to hear all about it and how they feel and if they know how magical it all is from a parent’s perspective!
April 14th, 2013 at 1:00 pm
I love to share my story, but I feel that most of the time people think it’s some sort of sad story and so they refrain from asking about it.
Knowledge is power, or so they say!!
I would love to connect with you more over your journey. Just like every pregnancy is different, every adoption story is different and yet it’s always a blessing no matter what the circumstance!
I truly wish you the best and can’t wait to connect more!!!
April 14th, 2013 at 2:50 pm
Thanks Elizabeth – for all your encouragement and your story. I’ll keep you in mind as a resource. Someday, in my ideal world (where I also have a perfectly clean home, well-behaved self-directed children and am at my ideal weight), I’d love to write a book about adoption. I know there are a lot out there, but I can’t quite shake the dream. 🙂
April 22nd, 2013 at 12:51 pm
I have never read such a true account of the emotions of adoption – thank you. We adopted 2 children in the space of 14 months – the day that we met our son, his social worker told us that his mother was expecting again – you can imagine our thoughts… we hadn’t even seen him, except in a bad quality dvd and photo, and were scared by the idea that in 10 days time we’d be parents. And THEN to be told about the new one…
I’m not ready to write about my adoption experiences yet – even though we couldn’t have had a more positive time – right from the start, but thank you for putting things in to words that I couldn’t.
April 22nd, 2013 at 8:13 pm
Wow – talk about emotional overload! Those first few meetings are overwhelming, I cant imagine adding an “oh ya, theres another one” to it. What a blessing for your family.
Let me know when you are ready to write your story, I’d love to hear it. I totally understand how some stories are too big to know where or how to start!
December 30th, 2013 at 6:00 am
[…] My son is 25% boy and 75% snot. Although we were finally getting the hang of sleep at night, all night long, today we are bleary-eyed and grumpy. And slimy (see above re: snot). It’s not what I pictured when I imagined this day… Read More. […]