Today, a dear friend of mine posted this as her facebook status: Tell me a story.
And so I did:
On August 21, 2005 - I made a trip to Haiti to meet my son for the first time. He was 5 months old and living in an orphanage in Port-au-Prince. I had seen photos of him and already loved him with all my heart but had never held him or heard his voice.
After a long and scary drive to the orphanage - in a small van filled with at least 6 other couples hoping to meet their children - we arrived at a gated and guarded building full of children.
As soon as we all got out of the van, every couple rushed into the building to meet their kids. I asked Halis to hold back and wait with me. I didn't want to rush in and meet my son in chaos. I wanted it to be calm. Halis was impatient, but he waited outdoors with me until we felt it was time.
After several minutes, I heard a baby wail. I immediately began to cry. I turned to Halis, grabbing his hand tightly and said: "That is my son! He needs me!" He replied: "Babe, you can't know that. The orphanage is filled with babies." I ignored him and began to make my way to the entrance saying: "I know it is him! What is wrong with him?"
Just then the orphanage director came out into the porch. She was holding my son. She said: "I am so sorry. Watson (my son's birth name) is sick. We just had to give him a shot to reduce his fever." Isaac was wailing. It was him all along.
She then placed Isaac in my arms and he immediately stopped crying. He just stared into my eyes for what seemed like hours. That was the moment that bonded us for life.
My husband turned to me and said: "I will never doubt you again. You are his mother."
And then the orphanage director snapped this photo:
This is one of my favorite stories to tell. It is the story of how we became a family. My high-school sweetheart, my husband, and now the father of my son ... he and I ... and this magical baby boy ... we became a family in that moment. Like so many birth stories told about hospital rooms or birthing tubs, labor pains, umbilical cords, new Daddies and new Mommies ... this is our birth story. It is a different story ... and one filled with both heartache and joy. I have reduced it to a small tale here ... but it was a story that was two years in the making. And sadly, after meeting Isaac ... it would be another 9 months before he would finally come home to us on May 10, 2006.
We visited him a couple of times during that wait ... and here are a few pictures from those visits:
And now ... eight years later ... we are taking this journey again. A journey to our next child through adoption. My heart could explode at the possibility of sharing our family with another wonderful soul. We have already been so blessed to become parents to Isaac. And this time, this journey to find our child is made all the more special by being shared with an enthusiastic 9-year old who is so excited to become a big brother. Absolutely nothing in the world means more to him than this. As some of you may remember, Isaac has already worked hard to fund raise toward this effort. And he continues to do so. Last night, he and I set up a Facebook page in order to let folks know about upcoming fundraising efforts ... including fundraisers at local restaurants, yard sales, lemonade stands, and even a GoFundMe effort.
Halis and I have had to discuss with Isaac the hard facts of financing an adoption. As you likely know, it is quite expensive. Our adoption of Isaac was approximately $27,000 from start to finish. (And worth every penny!). Isaac believes we can do this again. We paid for Isaac's adoption without any outside help. But this time, we are simply not in a position to do so. Halis and I know that we will have to appeal to our beloved community of friends, colleagues, and neighbors in order to finance this addition to our family. This is not very comfortable for us. And we feel strongly that any donations to our effort should be reciprocated with a good or service. Therefore, we are choosing fundraisers that reward our donors ... with yummy food, goods, photography services, artwork, etc.
We have decided to begin our adoption journey with the services of Saint Andre's Home in Biddeford, Maine. Our giant application package is half way completed. And Isaac has set up an account at TD Bank in Bangor to keep and accept adoption donations. He is so very ready to do this! And so are his Mom and Dad.
Thank you all for reading and sharing in our journey.
With butterflies in my stomach,