Thank you for the wonderful welcome home! We are impressed and encouraged by your hearts for the fatherless and the ways you have shown James he is loved.
Just about 4 days have passed since we arrived at LAX, and our sleep patterns are nearly normal. Granted, I’m typing this at 2 in the morning, but it’s closer to normal than before. We are working on James’ alphabet, numbers, colors, general manners (did you know that saying “please” is not a cultural practice in Thailand?), and family skills. There is a school of thought that suggests adjusting the parenting of a child to suit their family age (how much time they have actually been in your family) rather than their physical age. Though in most ways we are treating him like a 6 year old, thinking of him as a 2 week/6 year hybrid helps as we enter a stage of bedtime struggles, infantile reactions, and learning what it means to function as a family. If you see what you think are overly juvenile behaviors when you spend time with us, yes, you’re right, but they’ll pass.
I’ve debated sharing this next part in a public place, but since it was the advice/comfort of others that helped me to see my reaction was normal and work through it, here goes, in the hope that it will be a comfort and warning to other waiting moms:
Once we were home from the airport, while James was investigating the toys in his new room and we ate a bit of graciously provided food, I started to lose it. Once James was preoccupied, I started crying and could not stop. These were not happy tears, folks. These were tears of bitter, surprising grief. I mourned our losses. Our adventurous travels as a couple, our spontaneity, our ability to have 5 house guests at a time, to interact with misled sect participants; I was stuck on all of my perceived losses and filled with a deep sense of regret. Why did we make this choice? This is permanent? What are we doing? Who is this little person? It was ugly and I am not proud of it (especially in light of the overwhelming losses James has experienced). Feeling that way is apparently normal and hearing that could not have been more helpful. I was able to repent of that selfishness, that unbelief and fear, and move forward. Surely goodness and mercy have followed us throughout the entire adoption process, and God’s leading has set us firmly on a path toward a growing family. When I woke up the next morning, the grief had subsided. The things that I was suddenly fixated on are still there in the background to varying degrees, but there is rest in experiencing the other side of those feelings: the peace, the enjoyment, the thankfulness.
I’m thankful the grief passed quickly, I’m thankful that God has entrusted us with this child, and I’m thankful for the parents who have gone before us on this road; who generously shared the reality of their experience ahead of time and offered commiseration in the moment. So, when your bundle of joy comes home, fully expect to be filled with emotions that are totally contrary to what you “expect” … and come to me for sympathy.
We are looking forward to the days when we will get to see each of you again!