Five years ago, Guy and I were sitting in a hotel room in Guatemala City, Guatemala waiting for Jennifer, Jeremy's foster mother, to bring him to us. Those of you who know me know that Guy and I adopted Jeremy, but for those of you who do not know me, that may be news to you. I still remember how I felt ...waiting and waiting. I really couldn't believe that the moment he was going to be placed in our arms as our son and we could take him back to the U.S, had actually come. The adoption process from filling out paperwork, home study, notarized papers, government paperwork, attorneys in Guatemala, etc. took about 9 months. ( We found out about him about a week after he was born on August 18, 2005.)
Everyone would tell me that that amount of time was like waiting to have a baby and being pregnant. And I guess that the amount of time was about the same, but as someone who has adopted and had a biological child, I can say for a fact...it is NOT the same thing. When I was pregnant, I knew where my baby was at all times, I knew what kind of nutrition she was getting, I knew when I went to the doctor...I just felt like I had more control over things.
But, when you adopt, there are so many issues which are out of your control. The worry about if the paperwork would go through in the US. and in Guatemala, the wondering what he was eating, what he was doing every day. We missed his first Christmas...and I wondered what they did for that first Christmas in his foster mother's home...I remember going to Build- a -Bear with Guy so we could make him a gift and send it with one of the counselors with the adoption agency we used to take with her on her trip down to Guatemala. Gosh, those months just waiting and wondering about him were so hard...hard because we knew he was there, but we just couldn't bring him home. Finally, on February 27, 2006, we got THE call!!!! Words simply cannot even begin to express the feelings of joy, relief, and utter happiness that Guy and I felt that the day we would bring our son home was right there!
We have told Jeremy about his adoption since we brought him home. It isn't something we talk about every day, but he does know where and how he came to us. It became apparent to me that we needed to talk about it a little bit more after I had Elizabeth and he wanted to know what it was like to have him in "my belly". I still remember showing him the picture of his birth mother and his foster mother ( which have always been in his room since we brought him home) and explaining to him that he grew in Ingrid's tummy and Jennifer took care of him until we could bring him home. He looked at me and started crying that " No!!!! I wanted to be born from you!!!" It was crystal clear to me from that day, that adoption is a double edged sword.....where one person experiences utter happiness...another person ( the birth mother) is experiencing sadness. Even Jeremy, who is a very happy child, will experience some of that sadness along with adoption.
This is his dresser in his room with a picture of the day he was placed in our arms forever and a poem I wrote out for him ( but I am not the author of this poem...and the author is actually unknown). I just thought it puts into words beautifully what I am thinking. He may not be flesh of my flesh, but God knows, he came from my heart.These are just a few books I have that we read sometimes. Like I said, we don't constantly talk about adoption, but every now and then, he'll choose one of these books to read and talk about his "special story". I think the part he likes best is that he got to ride back to the U.S. with us in an airplane. That kid has been on so many airplanes in his life and he isn't even 6 yet!!!:)
When I look at him, I can't believe that five years have passed. I have to admit that every birthday, Christmas, and March 2, I do think about his birth mother, Ingrid. I pray that she knows Jeremy is happy and healthy. I pray that she knows what a wonderful gift she gave our family. I pray that she knows that Jeremy does know her name and that she is the reason that he has his life. I pray that she is blessed every day for unselfishly giving Jeremy for adoption.
Both of our children came into our lives by surprise. After years of trying to get pregnant, we took the path of adoption ( a path I really hadn't thought about before then)...but am grateful everyday that we chose. Elizabeth was a total surprise after being told we had a less than 1% chance of ever becoming pregnant. I am a mother of an adopted child and a biological child...two children who came into my life very different ways. One thing is for sure, though, our love for them is truly the same and it just grows more and more with each passing day.:)
Some people who have adopted may call this day "gotcha day" or "adoption day". I don't think our family really has a name for it. It is just a day that Guy and I pause and reflect on our family and remember where we started and let that ground us and keep the memories close to our hearts. No matter where this crazy path of life takes our family, our children will always know they are loved no matter how they came into our lives.:)