It was two-and-a-half years ago that I approached the very same building and found a precious baby boy already inside waiting for me. That was the moment I had dreamed of for so many years…I was finally adopting from China.
Today was a different scenario. I found myself waiting (not so patiently) in that room for my son to arrive. Watching the other families receive their babies. Some happy to meet their Mama and Baba, some not so happy, and even one that arrived at Civil Affairs sound asleep and transitioned into her Mama’s arms without even noticing. I was a bundle of nerves with tears in my eyes, reliving my first two “Gotcha Days” as I watched new families form right before my eyes.
When the van arrived, I knew it was finally our turn. With the one other family that had a child coming from the same orphanage, my husband and I looked outside in eager anticipation. And when the doors opened, there he was. My breath caught as I rushed to the window to take pictures of him. The first moment of laying my eyes on him in real life. I cued Dad to get the video camera rolling and headed to the door to greet the boy had waited so long to hold in my arms. I snapped a picture as soon as he walked in and he smiled at me, knowing full well that I was his new Mom. That scrapbook I worked so hard to put together for him paid off.
It was a magical moment when I walked up to him with open arms and he returned my embrace. But it was even more magical watching him sign the forms saying he wanted to come with us. So many people throughout the wait had expressed wonder at our willingness to adopt a teenager. The truth of the matter is, though, he took a much bigger risk by signing those papers than we did. The weight of the moment was not lost on me. Watching this young man entrust his entire future to us was one of the bravest acts I’ve ever witnessed. My prayer is that as our days together continue, he feels the risk was worth taking. Because…after only a few hours with him…I already know it was on my end.