It was our little guy’s birthday a few weeks back. He turned two-years-old, halfway around the world, waiting for our adoption to be complete. Celebrating birthdays during an international adoption can be a little tricky.
Of course, it was a little bit sad not being with him on that day. I can remember my older boys’ 2nd birthdays so vividly. The parties. The cakes. But this birthday – I’ll just have to imagine.
I’ll imagine that they had a little party for all the babies born in September. I’ll imagine that they had a birthday cake decorated with Winnie the Pooh and extra blue icing. I’ll imagine that he laughed his little laugh and loved licking the leftover frosting off the tips of his fingers.
I suppose I’m making this sound a little melodramatic, but that’s the thing about this whole international adoption game – It is a little melodramatic. It’s an over-the-top rollercoaster of emotions as you claw your way to a child thousands of miles away. It’s the guilt you feel when you forget to think about your child for two days in a row. It’s listening to your 3-year-old pray the first prayer you’ve ever heard him pray for his little brother, who is very far away.
But with these Dawson’s Creek style emotional swings, come happy moments too! Like when your family decides to go ahead and have cake on his 2nd birthday and make a silly video for him to watch when he gets home.
Or when your boys decide that the only logical solution for sleeping arrangements once their new bro comes home is for him to sleep in the bottom bunk with the recently promoted big bro. Or when your economical 6-year-old outlines the family hand-me-down strategy henceforth: “Me —>Archie —> New little bro —> Goodwill.”
It’s (what are the kids saying these days?) all the emotions.
It’s an emotional rollercoaster ride we are incredibly thankful to be on, because it’s exactly where our family is supposed to be. Sure, it royally sucks when the ride breaks down for repairs or someone pukes in the car in front of us (these are metaphors for when things go wrong with the adoption process. You probably got that though. I’ll be quiet now.) but we know it’s all part of the experience and will just make the next loop-the-loop that much more incredible.