Here is the picture that started it all. We were simply asking our agency what Kyrgyz kids looked like, curious to see the similarities between Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. We were emailed photos of several kids, and I don't know what it was about this out-of-focus, less than ideal portrait that captured me, but as the week went on my mind kept leaping back to his smile and his bright, sparkling eyes. There was something there familiar, something that felt like a fit for our family...he just looked like a LaJoy to me. I know it is stupid and doesn't make sense, but I could easily picture him peering back at me from the back seat of our van along with Matthew and Joshua. Maybe it is that our family is one that laughs often and plays a lot...and his smile said he also could be a part of that. I am so happy that I didn't give in to the idea of a daughter, as I am so certain that he is right for us, and that we are right for him.
Opening the email the other night was surreal, even though we have done this before it was different because we actually had to go to court after meeting both Matthew and Joshua, we didn't get any emails saying "The adoption is final" prior to even meeting them, as in this case. Can you imagine finding out you have become a mother by reading the words on paper? And turning around and there is no one there to share it with, aside from your spouse who is as thrilled as you are? Dominick was actually the one who read the email while I was at the counter. As cool and calm as he has tried to act over all of this, interestingly he had been checking my email himself quite often over the prior few days. He looked up from the laptop and said "It's done!" to which I casually asked "What's done?" as I wasn't paying much attention to what he was doing in the midst of cleaning up dishes. He replied "He's ours, the adoption is final!" with a big grin on his face, to which I immediately responded "You're kidding me..." and he said "No! Come read it!" so of course I shoved him out of the way, anxiously reading it for myself. We then went in and told the boys who were late getting to bed and they let out great big war whoops and jumped up and down on their beds. Then, being a man and being very tired from early waking hours, Dominick went to bed and was asleep in 5 minutes...and there I am all alone with nothing but a computer screen for company. Here I am, feeling like I have just "delivered" and there is no one to share it with!
The next day I also received an email from another best buddy who sent photos of the clothes she and her mom went right out and bought for Tokie after reading my email that morning. How special it was to know someone else was thinking about our new son on a day when I was thinking about nothing else!
I went to work and with the help of my co-workers put up balloons and a sign saying "It's a boy!", and posted his picture up for the world to see. Funny how I had been "pregnant" for several months and many people came up to say "I had no idea! When did all this happen?"...and that goes back to a previous post I made about feeling like any other expectant mother yet no one else sees you that way. There may not be baby showers or welcoming flowers, but this little guy has been so very much a desired addition to our family that none of that really matters.
So now we get down to the real work, we have final paperwork to gather, visas to apply for, travel arrangements to be made, and final "nesting" projects at home to be completed. We have about 7 weeks before we travel, as we need to be in Bishkek on May 24th and will meet him May 25th. We have a LOT to do before then, and this will be one of the most exciting times of our lives for all of us.
And to think it all started with a blurry faced photo...