presented by cj:
i have been waiting to write this blog in particular for a very long time. over a year to be exact. even before we “officially” started the adoption process, i would wonder and day dream about many things. would we have a son or daughter? what would he or she look like? what would it be like to meet them for the first time? and though adoption brings about many questions, there was always one event that i thought about that would bring me so much joy and longing and would move me to tears. arriving at the airport, our family whole with our baby in our arms.
i know you might be thinking really? it wasn’t seeing or meeting your baby for the first time? for me it was different. when i saw our son Kai for the first time, i felt in my heart that he was mine, but it wasn’t for sure until months later. so in that first moment, though i cherish it and will never forget it, i was also having to emotionally guard myself to not get too attached to a child that may not be mine. when we returned to get him, the second time we saw him 5 months later, he was asleep on the floor when we arrived, i rubbed his little back, and he opened his eyes, raised his head to look at me, and gave me the smile that continues to melt my heart on a daily basis. yes, my heart could’ve just burst right then, but again, nothing was guaranteed until the embassy cleared us to come home. you see, adoption is so fragile, that those of us going through it are always somewhat guarded because we know it could fail in a second.
daily when i prayed, begging the Lord to move quickly so we could be united and come home with our son, i always thought about the airport. arriving home. the sigh of relief. the many, many prayers being so tangibly and visibly answered. it was that moment that would make me weep. we were only in Japan for a week before we received everything we needed to bring Kai home, and it was one of the most emotional, taxing weeks i’ve ever experienced. we were physically exhausted, stumbling about in a foreign land we love being new parents to a baby not yet bonded and attached to us, and i cannot tell you how many times in that one week we would just look at each other on the packed train, in the crowded embassy, in our tiny hotel room we could barely walk in, kissing our baby boy’s cheeks, trying to console him when he cried as his eyes said “but i don’t know you!”, and just say, “i’m so ready to be home.”
as we made the trek home it was filled with anticipation. we were ready to be on texas soil, ready to start our new lives as a family of 3, and very ready to introduce our son to our families and close friends who are like family to us, all waiting for us anxiously to walk through that revolving door into baggage claim. when we got off the plane, it was like christmas morning to me. i was ready to run through that revolving door, almost like Buddy the Elf i was so excited. because on the other side of that door, were the faces who prayed for our son as much as we did, love him as much as we do, who sacrificed financially to help bring him home, who listened as i would call crying on hard days, who would calm me down as i was continually frustrated by ignorant remarks, who saw every little behind the scenes detail and inside struggle in the past year. i was so ready to celebrate with them, to share my joy with them. and even though i didn’t cry at the airport, thinking back on it i definitely have because it is a moment i will never forget. seeing them lined up waiting for us, walking through that door as their eyes met with Kai’s and hearing the shouts and cheers and seeing the tears wiped from eyes is a moment i will cherish (yes i am tearing up now), because they just don’t even understand the role they played in bringing home our little miracle.
if i could sum up coming home from the airport in one word it would be relief. not because the process is over-for us it is far from. our adoption still isn’t final. we have post-placement visits, multiple pediatrician visits, lawyer fees and more paperwork still to come over these next 6 months. but over in the sense of we’re home. we’re together. the waiting is over. the not knowing is over. the anxiety is over. the traveling is over. the fear that this is all just going to fail is over. the being separated is over. i wish i could do a better job expressing all of this in words. i just can’t do it justice. the saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so i will let some of my favorite pictures from the airport do the talking. we’re so happy to be home and can’t thank the hundreds of people who have helped us get here enough, but more on that later.