Yesterday was Halloween and we went to a party at our church and then Trick or Treating for awhile. The boys had such fun dressing up...and I mean ALL the boys, including Dominick. As I have often said, we are not adopting what will be my third boy, he will actually be my 4th! Dominick has a tradition of taking off work for Halloween and going to the school with the boys for their parties. We also have a Cat in the Hat suit that he has worn, but I really feel it is time for a new one...Bear in the Big Blue House has run it's course after 5 years of use...or has it? After all, so much will be new for T, so many things he has yet to experience...the big things like Halloween, Thanksgiving with a turkey and all the trimmings along with our Thanksgiving hot air balloon festival held here in town, and little things like riding a bike, playing a soccer game with mom and dad cheering and videoing the whole thing, or most importantly being tucked in to bed by someone who loves him dearly.
I think I must be an odd adoptive mom, or maybe I will have my comeuppance with this adoption, but with Matthew and Joshua I never once longed for what was missed during their first year with them. I was just so darned grateful to be able to parent at all after 13 years of marriage, that what we had missed ceased to be of any importance and what we would have became our sole focus. Our life together began the day we met, but they had a life before I wasn't a part of, and that was ok. I didn't yearn for lost months without them. With Josh there were moments I wished I could have made things different for him so he wouldn't have needed to suffer so much emotionally, but it wasn't like I wanted what I had missed with him. Maybe that is my own protective defense mechanism, I don't know. Or maybe I AM wierd! I have spoken with lots of other adoptive moms over the years who have felt that longing for what was missed.
I wonder what it will be like to see T as he encounters so many things for the first time. Before we even leave for America to come home with him, things like being out of the orphanage much at all will no doubt be new to him, staying in a hotel, going into stores with us, flying in a plane, having so many people around him who hug and kiss one another, even the toys that Matt and Josh will have brought along with them for entertainment will all be fascinating and new. Will I be able to capture that in film and with words? What a special honor it will be to experience this excitement with him and see it all through his eyes. Of course, there is always the strong possibility that it will all be too much for him and what could be a wonderous new world will be shattered by tantrums and melt downs, and we might simply be praying to get him home in one piece. Overstimulation by the "outside" world is always something to consider when adopting an older institutionalized child and bringing them home. But maybe we will be fortunate and he will adapt easily and we will be sensitive to his needs, and all will be relatively calm and smooth. More than likely, it will end up being something in between the two extremes, with some highs and some lows as we all struggle to accept what will be the new La Joy Family. Whatever we get, it will be a wonderous new world for him AND for me!