The Best Valentine

Valentine's Day is a big deal in our house. Find out why in an oldie but goodie Ay, Mama!


Twelve years ago, Bill bought me a tiny, adorable Jack Russell Terrier puppy for Valentine's Day. She was the first dog I ever had. We named her Aimee and she quickly became our spoiled little baby.

Eight years ago, on Valentine's Day, my grandfather passed away. While the passing of a loved one is usually viewed as a sad event, for my family it was, in all honesty, a relief. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's for many years, and his condition had worsened to the point that he was confined to a bed, his body frozen into a fetal position, not talking, moving, or aware of anything around him. We knew he would have never wanted to be that way, and felt that he would be much happier making the transition to wherever it is we all go next. Although we were relieved that his suffering had finally ended, I couldn't help but wonder if I would forever feel bittersweet about Valentine's Day.

On February 13, 2008, Bill and I arrived inKostanai,Kazakhstan. We were picked up from the airport by our facilitator, who gave us the rundown of our day: go to our apartment, take a shower, go to a couple of government offices to get our necessary permits, and then...visit the Delphin baby house!

A few hours later, we entered a strange building and, shortly afterwards, this silent little boy was placed in my lap. We were so dazed from our 20+ hour trip and the shock of being taken to the baby house that same day, that all I remember is thinking "Oh, he's pretty cute. And he's heavy!"

He seemed so big to me at the time, so SOLID, so real, after all the years of waiting, that I just couldn't register the enormity of that moment (little did I know that he was actually quite small for his age. At almost 10 months, Dylan could comfortably fit into size 6-month clothes). After just a few minutes, he was whisked away and we were taken back to our apartment, where we proceeded to study his picture for the rest of the night.

The next day, Valentine's Day, we went back to the baby house and officially filled out the paperwork to begin the adoption of that beautiful baby boy. We had visitation with him immediately afterwards, and when I looked at that perfect, smiling little face, I thought, "Oh yes, this is my son, and I am in love." What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than that?


Leave a comment
  • What a great story and what an unbelievable Valentine's gift! Loved it :)

  • How do you top a gift like that? Happy Valentine's Day!

  • Your words take us right back to this beginning (& so do these pictures)! K, M, J.C., & J.P.

  • Thank you, ladies. I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day, too!

  • I enjoy reading this beautiful story over and over again.

  • Lovely! And so beautifully expressed, your emotions as you held your son in your arms for the first time. Maybe your grandfather came back to you, as Dylan (at least, from the perspective of some Indians who believe in reincarnation).

    Happy Valentines Day!

  • In reply to jiyer:

    Sorry for the delayed response...everybody's been sick and I haven't had much time in the computer. Thanks for your comment, as always! I'm not sure if Dylan is a reincarnation of my grandpa (kinda hope not 'cause he wasn't necessarily the nicest man in the world!), but I definitely think someone was looking out or us during our adoption process! In any case, we are certainly beyond blessed to have Dylan in our lives!

Leave a comment