It was 7 years ago tomorrow when we stood in a courtroom in Uralsk. A large panel of authorities was assembled before us as we answered the usual questions for which they already had answers in the scads of papers spread out before them. Do you know he was abandoned? Are you aware we have no information about him? Are you sure you still want him?
Yes, yes we do.
It was the next day when we left the orphanage with a bucking, screaming infant in our arms. It was not a joyous leave taking, in fact I was in tears as we left as I knew the future was going to be rocky for a very long time to come, and your despair was soul deep...your wounds became mine that day. You cried so hard and so loud that we actually feared the police would be called on us. I have a photo of you at rest, finally. Sweat dampened hair, soft blanket in your grip. It was so different this time around, so unlike the first time when our first son fell asleep on my chest that first evening together. As I stood there looking down at you, camera by my side after recording one of the few calm photos of you we would have for weeks, I prayed for wisdom, for courage, for the ability to remain committed.
Months and months passed. It got worse, we pursued help from every direction we could think of, we persevered. A year passed, a slight improvement, you could tolerate touch without hitting back or squirming to death, but still were not comfortable with affection. You were still so very, very angry. More time passed, your soul began to calm, so did mine.
Seven years later, I watched you from across the table tonight. So serious, working hard on a project, you looked up and flashed a grin and bent down to get back to work. This afternoon in the kitchen you and I stood and hugged. Nothing so out of the ordinary for most families, something I will never take for granted again in my life. This morning you crawled into bed after hovering outside my door quietly. Dog nestled between us we giggled and spoke softly of nothing important, my Early Morning Sunshine and I...alone for our special few moments as we start the day before others arise.
Joshua, you are the one who taught me what faith was really all about. You are the one who led us to 3 more. Without you, I would be shallower, emptier, weaker. You are the angel of our family, the gentle one, the one no one can resist. You are beloved by your siblings, you are cherished by your parents. You are equal parts vulnerability and strength. Your slight impishness causes all to smile.
I love you, sweetheart. I am thankful for every single moment I have been blessed to spend with you. Yes, even those early emotionally exhausting ones. It all makes up our beautiful history together. I wouldn't change a thing, and I know God was with all of us as we embarked on our journey of healing together. You helped heal places in me that I hadn't even realized were bruised.
Happy Adoption Day, Joshie. May you forever feel the presence of your mommy's loving arms around you, may your past never return to haunt you. You will be an extraordinary man. You are an extraordinary son. Thanks for loving us. Thank you God for the perfect son.