Even though Dylan was now officially our son, during the 15-day appeal period after court we could see him only during our allotted two hours of daily visitation. You would think that, having been through this routine every day for two months, those last 15 days would have been a breeze. In truth, they were actually the hardest ones of the whole adoption process.
Once that judge issued the adoption order, something changed in me. I had always felt tenderness for Dylan from the moment I met him, but now I began to feel something else welling up inside: protectiveness. The mama bear in me started coming out, and I began to resent it when the caregivers would scold me for taking Dylan's hat off or for trying to give him an American-style pacifier to suck. This was my son now, and I should have been able to have a say in how he should be cared for. But the truth of the matter was, I didn't. And there was not much I could do about it except be patient.
By this time Dylan was 11 months old and growing by leaps and bounds. When we first met him, he could barely sit up by himself. After the first few weeks of visitation, he had not only built up the strength to sit up, but was also pulling himself around in an "army crawl." A few days after court, he started to crawl properly during visitation. We were so proud and happy to witness that amazing milestone!