It’s Valentine’s Day. You can tell by all the ads targeting us with jewelry, flowers, and of course, chocolate. Thoughts automatically turn to love. So, I decided to blog today about the first time I fell in love—with my son. As an adoptive mom, you don’t have the joy of feeling that first kick in your belly. You don’t get to see their little bodies forming on an ultrasound, and as an internationally adoptive parent, you don’t get to be present at your child’s birth.
What you do get is a picture and medical report—and if you are really lucky, you get a short video of your child-to-be. We were lucky enough to have a video of our son. In the months leading up to our trip to South Korea to get our boy, I must have watched this short piece of film a million times. He was seven months old in the video. I watched every movement of his face, every nuance in the way he touched and explored things, and his glorious little laugh. I felt each viewing gave me new insight into this boy who I’d never met, but I knew was going to be my child for the rest of our lives.
There was already a tug on my heartstrings. But how could I know what I would experience when I first met my boy. How my heart would swell so much I felt my chest expand from it. How I could not breathe from the hope and future I saw in his eyes.
But let me back up at bit here.
Before I could see my son, we had to wait for travel clearance (which seemed to take forever) and then fly to South Korea and WAIT an entire night at the adoption agency’s guest house before his foster family would bring him to the guest house for us to see.
But the next morning, after a night of no sleep, and a stomach too restless to eat, we would go downstairs to the clinic and see our son. Before we even reached the glass door of the clinic, we caught a glimpse of a boy, much older and chubbier than the photos we had still in a small album in our room. He was in the arms of his foster mom with hair in front sticking straight up.
And he was the most beautiful sight I’d ever seen.
We all went inside a play room with our son’s social worker, and we were able to play with him and very briefly hold him. And I know it sounds fanciful. I know many people find it hard to believe. But right then, in that very moment, I fell in love. That love has only grown as my time with him has progressed. Now, we are a team, I tell him. We are the mommy and Jaime team.
So, happy Valentine’s Day to my little sweetie. And to all the parents out there and their little loves. What better way to celebrate the day of love than by being a mom?