Our adoption was made final today!!! I'm still amazed at the changes in my life in the last year. Start to finish, our process took one year and one week. Amazing! I don't know why it was so much easier for us than for all of our friends who waited so much longer but I am so grateful! I still can't believe this little angel is mine. I am so incredibly blessed! Special thanks to Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Toe-Toe, Lori, Brent, Nathan and Jenn for coming to celebrate with us!
Collin you have completely changed my life and I can't imagine how I managed to live for 33 years (ouch) without you. Thanks for calling me Mama, it melts my heart every time! (Which, incidently, is the ONLY reason you cuddled with mom tonight instead of going to bed when you were supposed to...) I love you!!
Today is a very special day for us. It's one I'm sure you won't remember, but equally certain I will never forget. One year ago today, you changed my life forever. One year ago today, I held you in my arms for the first time. I've been thinking a lot about that day lately. And the 365 days since then. I've thought about how determined I was that first day. Determined to get you well, but not to fall in love. My resolve lasted almost as long as it took you nuzzle your cute little face into my neck and fall asleep. I should have known then that I was a goner, but I'm a little stubborn. I've thought about the first time the thought crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe, I could be your mom. You still weren't feeling very good and had fallen asleep on the bed in the hotel room. I watched you sleep for a few minutes with a lump in my throat and a swelling in my heart. You've done that several times since then. You're actually pretty good at it. I've thought about the day I went to visit your orphanage and how I knew that, although it was obvious you were loved there, it seemed completely wrong that you should have to grow up there.
I think about when I left you for the first time. You and I stayed back a bit from all the other mommies and daddies and children. I wasn't sure what to say to you, so I just told you that I loved you and hoped I'd see you again someday. What I didn't realize at the time, was that my heart wouldn't be going home with me. It preferred to stay with you in a little village in Haiti. When I think about the next two weeks, how I agonized about whether or not bringing you home to live with me was the best thing for you, I remembered how the memory of your big brown eyes and that smile that, although rare at the time, managed to melt the area where my heart used to be. Even a thousand miles away, we were still connected. The next two months were a flurry of activity, trying desperately to gather all the necessary paperwork to "get the process started" for us. All the while, feeling a sense of urgency, a feeling that I needed to move faster. At the time, I didn't know why. Fast forward a few months to January 12th. Another day that I will never forget. I think about having to go on with day to day living, not knowing for sure if you were still alive. For six agonizing days, I wondered, I prayed, I cried, until finally, I knew for sure.
And then, I can't help but think about the literal miracles that took place in the next two weeks that brought you and your friends home. I think about the people that risked their lives to save you. Those who risked their safety to go find you. The hearts that were softened and laws that were changed, just to enable you to come home to me.
Mostly though, I think about how blessed I am to be the one you call mom. How grateful I am to a Heavenly Father who saw two people who needed each other and literally moved heaven and earth to bring us together. Every time I see your big brown eyes looking up at me, or hear your infectious giggle, I'm reminded of just what a miracle you are. With every kiss and cuddle you give me, I'm awestruck all over again, that I was the one chosen to be your mother. Thank you my sweet boy, for changing my world in ways I never dreamed of and for allowing me to love more deeply than I ever thought possible. I love you so much and can't wait to see what the future will bring to our little family.