In writing my posts all these weeks I've constantly asked myself at which point I would stop telling Dylan's adoption story and continue writing about our everyday life as a family.
Should I stop after telling the story of our flight home, or should I write about the first few weeks of Dylan being home? What can I saw about those weeks...they were a blur of activity, trying to overcome a serious case of jet lag (Kazakhstan is 11 hours ahead of us, and if you think jet-lag is hard to get over, try it with a new baby...yikes!), and attempting to establish a new routine for Dylan.
Dylan's transition to our home went surprisingly well. Within his first few days home, he claimed every single part of the house for himself, and he loved exploring every last inch of it. The only difference in his demeanor during those days was that he exhibited an extreme attachment to me. It was easy to understand why. The kid's whole life had been turned upside down, and I was the only constant presence in all this upheaval. Even Bill had been in and out of his life during this process. So he clung to his Mami. And I clung right back to him, hoping this would reassure him that I was never going to leave his side.
Because he was so attached to me, we bought him a little walker, which he used to follow me around everywhere I went. That way, I could actually get some things done and he could still have the security of being near his Mami. He is still very much attached to me, but this extreme clinginess lasted only a few weeks. Soon, he was back to his normal, happy self, quickly winning the hearts of all our family and friends.
Should I write about Dylan's first few months home? Those were crazy too. Within the first months of Dylan being home, we'd attended a funeral, had my parents come for a visit to meet their first grandchild, went to a wedding, threw a presentation/birthday party for Dylan, went to Michigan for a family reunion, had my brother and his wife visit for a week, flew to Puerto Rico so Dylan could meet my family, and even hosted my family from Brazil who came to the US for the first time. I don't think we actually settled in to regular everyday life until Dylan had been home for a good six months.
So when does our adoption story actually end? I have come to the conclusion that the answer to this questions is: never.
How could it possibly end? Our family IS adoption. We came together because of adoption, and our story continues to be told in every day we spend together, every milestone Dylan hits, every smile that lights up his face, every holiday we celebrate as a family from here on.
Adoption is a part of Dylan's personal history, and we hope he will grow to embrace it and celebrate it. It is a part of our personal history, too. More than four years ago, when Bill and I made a choice to grow our family through adoption, we had no idea just how much our lives would be impacted by this decision. We have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We had to travel to the other side of the world and back but in the end, we have achieved what we always wanted: to be parents.
And we'd do it all again in a heartbeat.
If you are interested in adopting or learning about adoption, please check out these resources: