Every year we go to Vancouver B.C. for the Chinese New Year Parade. It’s always a favorite day for our kids. We get
Monday morning. March 12th. The day our family grew by one. The day we had waited for for fifteen months. We woke up early, which for me meant, I just got out of bed, because I didn’t sleep all night. Even though I was so excited, it was still a little nerve-racking. The unknown was about to become known, and would it be ok? Would YunDi be afraid? I worried about him leaving his foster family. I thought he had been with them for two years, but it was actually seven years. How heartbreaking to lose this. I am not certain about the rules of domestic adoption, all I knew was he was ours, and the only thing we could do was move forward.
Every emotion churned inside of me as I watched the clock slowly tick the minutes away.
We walked around the mall, and tried to eat some lunch as we waited for our guide to arrive at 2 pm.
It finally arrived and we met our guide, along with another family in the lobby of the hotel. We got into the van and went to the Civil Affairs office to meet our boy. I think they had planned to have it more organized, but as it turns out, we arrived in the parking lot at the same time the nanny did, with our son. Scott said, “Is that Knox?” I looked out the back window and saw him step out of the car, in a bright yellow sweatshirt, looking around nervously.
I scrambled down the steps of the van, whacked my head on the way down, and hurried across the parking lot to meet him. I hugged him as he tried to kiss my cheek. Then Scott leaned down and also hugged him. It felt surreal to finally be standing there with him. In China. Thousands of miles from home. Becoming parents again.
We went inside and handed him his bag with the toys we brought him. He seemed dazed, and I was too. We hugged him a few more times and talk to the nanny about him. She told me he was very shy, sweet, and never complained even if he was upset. We knew how to deal with this kind of child, as our Havensong is also quiet and shy.
I looked down at him and saw large tears flowing down his cheeks. The nanny spoke to him and he told her he missed his foster mom. It hurt to see him so sad, but trying to be so brave. I asked her to tell him we understand and will be patient with him because we know how sad he must feel. She told him we are good people and are safe and happy to be his parents.
I looked across the room to see a row of officials at a table just quietly staring at us. It was the strangest feeling being observed so quietly as we claimed our new child. The child that China was letting go. The child who was now with his third mother. He was given away by his first mother, for reasons we don’t know. He was taken away from his second mother because of rules made by governments. And he was chosen by his third mother, a stranger in every way. His small world had just been turned upside down, and all I could do in that moment was smile, and reassure him. Blind trust.
We signed a few papers, took a photo, and left. That was Family Day. Kind a blur. Kind of chaotic. But miraculous.
Adoption is a beautiful picture of love. As I walked back to the van, with his little hand in mine, I thanked God for doing such a great thing in our lives. Adoption is a leap of faith. You step off that cliff and close your eyes, hoping everything stays in tact. Sibling relationships, marriage, peace of mind. I looked at my son as he watched out the window and knew he was worth it all.
Knox Nathaniel YunDi, you are a brave boy. I’m so proud of you.