All in adoption
I have never done goodbyes well. Ever. And I certainly didn’t do this goodbye without tears.
I’m a feelings person. Always have been. And living this experience rocked my world to the core in such an incredible way.
Today was our last full day together with our group. That day we headed to a HUUUUUGE shopping market, which I regretfully did not take a lot of pictures. We did a lot of shopping, but I did not adequately document this location. And it was IMPRESSIVE in size and the quantity of stuff.
Adoption. It is such a life altering experience truly difficult to put into words. Adoption is beauty through tragedy. Redemption through abandonment. It will strip every emotion you have and bring it to the surface. It is an experience I am so grateful to have walked. And grateful to have experienced with these incredible families.
For decades, adoptions were finalized in China on Shamian Island. The U.S. Consulate office use to be here and thousands upon thousands of families have walked these streets with their new children in hand. And while the U.S. Consulate has since moved, adoption groups still return to this historic place.
After touring the orphanage on November 16th, we took our first flight with Tristan from Shanghai to Guangzhou , where the U.S. Consulate is.
The flight was itself was smooth. However, the sitting on the tarmac with a screaming 2 year old at nap time wasn’t so much on the smooth side. This was the first time I cried after having Tristan with us. And my sweet first sitting next to me just put her hand on my arm and said, “It’s okay, Mom.” Bless her.
Our first night together went better than I expected. I put Tristan to sleep in the carrier and then gently laid him down in my bed. He slept on my chest for much of the night, with his head over my heart.
Today was the day.
We woke up early that morning. Partially from our internal clocks and also from excitement and anticipation.
Before heading to breakfast, Jerry and I gave Brooklynn a card we had written for her. Today wasn’t just a huge day for Jerry, myself, and Tristan. It was a monumental moment for Brooklynn. Her world as an only child for 8 years, was about to drastically change. But one thing I observed throughout our entire adoption process was her consistent excitement. She never once suggested we do otherwise. So this moment right here. These moments before we left our hotel to welcome Tristan into our family were huge.
I absolutely LOOOOVED Shanghai and wish our time there had been longer. I wish we had had more time to explore the city my son was born in and is from. The time we did spend there, I absolutely cherished and look forward to going back with Tristan!
Our day started super early. After a decent first night sleep, we headed downstairs to the hotel dining room for breakfast where we re-connected with all of the families touring in Beijing. For months prior we had all been communicating via Facebook as we discovered who would be traveling together. It was so great to meet everyone in person and connect.
November 9, 2017
WELCOME TO CHINA!
Landing in China was surreal. At first I thought it was super foggy outside… Then quickly realized, that wasn’t fog, but smog. We also arrived in China while President Trump was visiting and saw Air Force One on the tarmac, which was pretty cool! China had even worked on “cleaning up” their air for Trump’s visit. So it was nice to actually see blue sky on some of the days we were in Beijing.
The day felt surreal. Our bags were packed. Our house in order. And our journey about to begin.
My dear friend Tracy drove us to the airport that day and my heart and emotions were so raw. God had worked amazing miracles to get us on that plane. And here we were, standing out in front of the Sea-Tac Airport preparing to board a 13 hour flight to China.
A year ago today my sweet family of 3 was zipping up our suitcases preparing to travel thousands of miles to become a family of 4. We had spent the last 13 months preparing for this day. Countless hours, prayers, miracles answered, now had us less than 24-hours before we would bored our airplane and begin our travels east. Destination - China.
It has been almost a year that Tristan has been home. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone by and how much has changed over this past year for Tristan as well as our family. God has richly blessed us beyond our imaginations over this last year that only He can receive all the glory.
We may not have the same DNA, but he is SO my son. He is loud, full of energy, non-stop, funny, always smiling, stubborn, inquisitive, tender hearted, constantly curious, and always on the go.
"Mom, do you think Tristan will know I am his sister when we meet?"
Watching Brooklynn naturally fall into the roll of "jie-jie" (big sister in Chinese) has been one of my greatest joys to watch. She was born to be a sister.
It was a year ago today I saw your face. I had seen so many faces up to that point... And at that moment your chubby cheeks, adorable smile, and precious eyes caught mine. You made me giggle and say:
"That's my kid..."
It was a bold and scary sentence to say.
Build. Crash. Build. Crash and Repeat.
I love watching him discover new things. His mind never stops and he always wants to know how things work. He loves all things vehicle related and loves to point them out with an enthusiastic yell "CAH!"
I've thought a lot about the day our son was abandoned. The day he was left out on a bench. The day his parent/s, no doubt, walked away tearfully from their son.
Wow! One month in. I really can't believe that it has been one month since we have had our little guy in our family and in our lives.