Thursday, August 8, 2013

3 Years in Our Family

Today is a day full of so many emotions for me.  It is hard for me to even put in to words what this day means for me and our little family.  3 Years ago today Peter and I had traveled all the way to the other side of the world to hold and love and bring home the little guy who had captured our hearts!

I can't even express how I felt the first time I looked into my son's beautiful deep brown eyes.  My family felt complete in that moment, but my joy came at a great cost for him. While we had spent a year preparing for his arrival and months staring at pictures of his beautiful face, I was a complete stranger to him.  He had to give up everything he knew for me to gain the world!  He was such a brave baby boy and took all of the rapid changes in stride.  I remember one afternoon so vividly as we sat in the hotel room in Addis Ababa and he was inconsolable with his eyes full with fear.  It hurt so badly to see him have to go through that transition time and  we were quickly confronted with how real and painful the loss in adoption is.

Meeting each other! 

He has been a super star little boy. For all of the adjusting and change that has happened in his 3 years, he has handled it beautifully.  We tried to mentally prepare for a really tough transition home but he did so good and almost instantly put his trust in us and bonded amazingly. When I look back now, I realize he must have been terrified with all these new experiences happening all at once.  He did appear almost frozen at times.  But his walls of defense crumbled quickly.  More and more as the days went on, he gave us more glimpses of who he really was and how big of a personality God had given him!

1 Year Home

2 Years Home

 As he is now 3 years old and we have been able to talk more about Ethiopia and adoption and look at pictures from his life in Ethiopia.  It hurts.  It hurts in a way I never knew it could.  The conversations have started and as I speak, the words just kind of catch in my throat.  This is real.  His pain is my pain.  I have no answers to the hundreds of questions that he will wonder about in his lifetime. That sucks! And while he still is much too young to fully verbalize how he feels, I know that there are holes in that heart of his. Adoption is rooted in unbearable loss.

But I am so thankful that there is redemption in his story. Not just for him, but for us!   We are his family!  We love him more than words can say.  He is breathtaking!  He makes me laugh and has filled a void in my heart that I know God put there just for my sweet Malachi. If there is nothing else I could tell his birthmom of the millions of things I want to share with her, I want her to know how blessed we are by him.  How deep our love is for him and how truly happy he has made us and how honored I am to get to be his mother!

Adoption is hard.  The loss is very real.  I don't know why Malachi's story had to be written this way, but I am so glad that God chose us to get to be his mom and dad!  I cannot imagine our life without him in it.  He has brought a special kind of joy into our lives!