Sunday, June 8, 2014

We Met Our Son (no catchy title, sorry)

You guys. Today I met my son. And he's beautiful, and sweet, and we're gonna take him home. Well, not yet. But someday.

I am pretty sure I could just stop the post there and that would be good. We could all call it a day there. But I kind of want to tell you about the rest of my day. So, before we get to the "good stuff," back up with me a few hours, will you?

We had breakfast this morning at our guest house with a couple other families. One family is a mama waiting with her son. They passed court two weeks ago and she's staying with him until they go home. The other are here on a medical mission. It was nice just to chat and talk about what the anticipation is like. Breakfast was so tasty and we kept smiling nervously at each other, knowing we were going to be meeting the little guy later. The one family had met him and kept telling us what a peanut he was and how he had a great smile!

Our driver and guide came and we headed to church. I didn't take any pics of the service but it was an international church. This particular church service was all in English. We sang "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and "Every Hour I Need Thee." Our sermon was on Jesus in the temple. It was so nice to be there with everyone. We sat by another adoptive family and next to her was a sweet local mama and baby. At some point, she turned to my friend and said, "Can you hold my baby?" So there we were. Two American adoptive mamas ogling over a sleeping baby. At one point the baby woke up, looked a little surprised to have two crazy white ladies staring at him, and then fell right back to sleep. Apparently we looked scary but not scary enough to come out of his cute sleepiness.

After church we headed to pick up a family who arrived that morning and we all headed to lunch. Lunch was at Amsterdam, a restaurant known for being as slow as it possibly can be. This was not an appealing quality, as you can imagine, since we really just wanted to meet our son. Our guide walked in and encouraged them to be speedy and from what I understand, they were. We were there less than an hour and got on the road to the transition house.

We drove down the road and I finally saw the sign that I've seen in all the videos and photos from so many adoptive families with the logo of our agency. We pulled in the gate and all the kids started surrounding the van. The other family confirmed that our kids were tucked away so we wouldn't accidentally see them--we got the grand meeting. My heart started pounding. We created a plan for how to take each other's photos while the family who had already met their son agreed to be the "porch guard" so the rest of us could get some private time with our kids.

The other family went first and I took video. Their kiddos came out and I tried my best just to hold the camera and not think about the fact that our little guy was on the other side of the door, waiting for this little intro to end so he could meet his family. They hugged and we traded cameras. It was our turn.

My heart is honestly pounding just typing about it. We stood there and before I knew it, Little IC popped his head out the door and we stood in a three-person hug for a few minutes. I don't think I would remember the next part but we watched the video earlier and it came rushing back. E and I tucked down and just talked to him for a minute. I told him our names and that I was "mama" and E was "dad." And then we pointed to our bracelets and said we had a matching one for him. And in the tiniest voice ever he said, "thank you."

He pointed to Eric's arm and gave a quizzical look. Eric smiled and said "tattoo." He asked if he could get one. We said maybe later. Trying to give yeses, people, trying to give yeses.

We took a quick photo and then I pulled out the backpack we got just for him, filled with things. First things first: we pulled out that Mizzou shirt and put it right on our sweet babe. He's swimming in it:). We'll be attempting a smaller size before we come home. But he liked it and said "thank you" again. I then pulled out the gum and he grinned. He started handing it to everyone. Kids would look at us and I'd direct them to IC. He handed out gum and was quiet and patient and made sure every kid got some. 

We only got to spend a couple of hours with him today but it was a good couple of hours. We colored and several other kiddos colored with us. All the kids immediately found Angry Birds on my phone and it was a scramble for who could play next. Each time I would give it to IC, he would hand it to another kiddo to play. I'd take it back and before I knew it he had given it away again. We played Uno, where we became aware that he can at least count to four in English when someone drew a "draw four" card.  I blew bubbles and he helped pop them and then wanted to take pictures of me blowing bubbles. He wanted to take a picture of us. While I can't show you pictures of him, I can show you a picture he took of us. Ladies and gentlemen, I present: My Parents. By IC:

He's a prodigy. I know you can already tell. We played on the porch a little longer but then we pulled out the big gun: the soccer ball.

He and E and a little helper aired up the ball and then we got to see the skills. Guys, he really is good at soccer. This coming from someone who is so very bad at soccer that he kept cracking up. Which was to my delight because seriously, I don't care if your child is 3 weeks or 13 years, that first giggle you get to hear is everything. And it was. He giggled for us a few times while playing soccer. We played with several other kids and he was good about taking turns and including everyone.

Before I had blinked it was time to go. We hugged and promised him we'd be back tomorrow and he rushed off to snack time.

And that's when it really hit me that we were done with our time for the first day. It went SO fast.

We got in the car and I think E and I just stared at each other, completely unsure of what to say or how to process the fact that we just got to spend two hours with our son. The one we had pictured and prayed for and loved before we knew him. And he was so sweet.

We were whisked back to the guest house and the other couple who met their kids today went with us to dinner. They'd been here before so they said we could just walk to dinner, no problem. We had a few wrong turns and the original restaurant was closed but we ended up having hamburgers and orange soda at a cafe and all was well.

Both of us just keep staring at each other day, hugging each other tightly, unsure of how to put the sights and sounds and thoughts and smells and emotions and everything else into words. We can't.

We're excited to see him tomorrow. He already asked if we can all go home together at the end of the week. This leaving stuff is not going to be easy.

Thanks for your prayers and love. We're so thankful to have your support as we begin life as a family of three.


  1. THANK YOU for detailing your day! Tears. And prayers.

  2. Tears as I read this! Can't wait to be there someday meeting our daughter. Congrats!

  3. Yay!!! Can't wait to hear of news y'all passed court! Xoxo

  4. Ahhh, this made all my memories come flooding back! I literally could even smell Ethiopia when I was reading. Thank you! I am praying for you each day!

  5. Amazing! Thank you for writing the details. Will continue praying. Just read this to Liam. Can't wait for them to meet each other.

  6. I'm so happy for you three. IC just won the lottery, and so did you guys. I'm just overwhelmed with happiness hearing your story. Prayers all continues to go well.

  7. I'm so happy for you three. IC just won the lottery, and so did you guys. I'm just overwhelmed with happiness hearing your story. Prayers all continues to go well.

  8. This is an incredible update! What a terrific day! We're so happy for you and little IC. Prayers are being answered! Love you guys!

  9. No words. Just a huge smile and happy tears for your new family of 3.

  10. No words. Just a big smile and happy tears for your new family of 3. You're amazing!

  11. Oh my goodness. My heart was pounding just reading about this very special visit. Your recounting of it brought me to tears and also made me giggle a bit (already asking to get a tattoo!). It is just beyond wonderful! I am so happy for all three of you! Thank you for sharing the joy.

  12. So heartwarming! Best wishes

  13. Oh Jess, I am sitting her bawling over my night snack of cereal and reading this out loud to Nathan. So so awesome. Can your little guy come over and teach my kids how to share? :) Btw, Jack has already told me that he can play "kick" with the boys at school, since he's a good soccer player. And he told me "Mom, I'm good at speaking to people who don't speak English." So, I think your boy has a friend waiting for him here.

  14. Sooooooooooo excited for you guys! Wonderful that you have a video of the event. He sounds so sweet & considerate. And it sounds like he has amazing parents too!! And I have to say...the sound of your child giggling is probably my favorite sound in the world. So glad you got to hear yours for the first time today. Thanks for sharing your day!

  15. Ahh! Exciting! I'm praying for you. Thankful for a God who knows what you need and hears my prayers even when I am not quite sure how to pray.

  16. This is so exciting, Jess! I must say that I was excited to see you this week when I took the boys to the Crossing for Kids Club, but I am even more excited that you are where you are meeting YOUR SON!!! Hooray!!!