It’s been almost 4 months since I last saw my son. Many people have asked me if it was really hard to leave him our first and only week together. One of my biggest fears prior to taking our first trip was just how hard it would be to leave him. I replayed so many scenarios through my brain about our goodbye and just how much my heart would hurt leaving him. I imagined the pain and anguish I would convey when I had to tell the story of our first goodbye. So when we arrived home and I was first asked about our goodbye I was almost embarrassed to say how not hard it was. Saying goodbye to Elliot, much like this entire experience, has been anything but textbook.
As I wrote in my prior blogs about our court trip, Elliot was extremely attached to the ‘nannies’ (caregivers) at the orphanage. He made it very clear that he would tolerate us, but he preferred them. It was extremely encouraging to know that he could, and was attached to these women. After all, they had been his mommies for as long as he could remember. Leaving Elliot with these women was not only easy, but it felt so right. And as any mom would tell you, your child’s happiness trumps just about everything.
So I guess it goes without saying that my anxiety level about having to take him from his home far trumps any goodbye I've had thus far. It’s a strange thing to be trembling with excitement about finishing a 2 year process, but also be struggling with pangs of guilt as I prepare to traumatize my son.
I know you’ll say something like, ‘oh, but think about the amazing family and home he is coming in to.’ Or , ‘he’ll adjust so quickly, how could he not love having a real mom and dad.’ And I agree. I really do. I keep saying things like, ‘it’s short term pain for long term gain.’ Or, ‘you’re right, life in an orphanage is not an easy road.’ All of these are true, and it does help my brain to feel better about all this, but as a mom, it absolutely breaks my heart.
Adoption never claimed to be a perfect solution. In a perfect world, every child would have at least one parent who loves them unconditionally. For some reason, my first choice for Elliot didn't work out. And so tonight, I leave everything I hold sacred and safe, and board 2 flights for 20+ hours to find, hold, protect and LOVE the son that was not born of my body, but born of my heart. The son that God knew that one day would be ours and would finally complete our family, from the moment I laid eyes on that blond hair, blue eyed boy at CCS.
‘For where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.’ Ruth 1:16