Six months ago today we walked out of an orphanage in Ukraine with our son. OUR son. It felt so surreal. Like "really? We get to leave with him?" Although really how much more paperwork could we have done?!?
It feels crazy that it's been six months, HALF A YEAR! How can that be? Six months really is a good place. So different than 1 month home, or two months home. Better than 5 months home. He's really settled in. We've settled in. We've adapted, learned each other, built trust. Worked on attachment. And it's gotten easier, it feels more natural, it comes from a real place now.
I know some are more experienced from previously fostering, or some feel an attachment from the very the beginning. I gotta be honest, we read, we talked to other adoptive parents, we talked, we prepared mentally, we did all the things. But nothing is the same as actually doing it, actually bringing your child home who hasn't been your child for the first years of their life. And the doing can feel really different than the theory of doing. We had a honeymoon period for 10 days, then it was craziness and screaming and raging and not eating, and raging about eating, and hitting and head butting and crazy eyed craziness. And of course if I could have seen into the future and known that at 3 months home it would drastically start to improve, 3 months really isn't that big a deal in the grand scheme of things, but in the moment you don't know how long the crazy will last, and what if it lasts forever? What if it never feels natural, what if what if what if....and you dig deep and come up short and drink coffee and and go out for a girls night sometimes, and get up in the morning and just try to take one day at a time because to think of more than one day is too much. You might fall exhausted onto the sofa at night wishing for a good cry which really is too much effort to bother so you go to bed instead. And the rejection you thought wouldn't bother you actually does. And the screaming you thought wouldn't be such a big deal is, and you just choose to believe that it will get better because that's what everyone says.
And guess what? It did. And we found our sweet boy again, and we love him. He's our son, and at 6 months home it feels real to say that. And that's pretty darn good.
So if you're at the beginning of it, just arriving home, I can now join the ranks that can tell you "hang in there, just survive, just do the loving things you need to do, and eventually you'll catch up with the actions and it will feel real."
6 months home is a good place to be. To everyone who has supported us along the way, here's a special thank you today!! We couldn't have done it alone.
We love you Tavin!