Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One Year Ago Today

I cannot even express how much our lives have changed in exactly 1 year.  Exactly 1 year ago I sat here in bed typing up our announcement with a heavy and emotional heart.  Our announcement that there was a boy in Ethiopia who we had chosen as our son!  You can read this announcement here:

the first picture of our Fetinet
Although I say we "chose" him, we know God had him handpicked for us.  There were 3 children on the list, 1 girl who was already matched with a family and 2 boys around the same age and through a chain of events and a story behind it all it was to be that our child was the 2nd one on the list, the 6-8 yr old boy who we could only see half of his face because he had most of it covered by his hand.  The first pictures we really got to see of our son melted our hearts and I carried them around everywhere, praying for him, us, the adoption process, everything!

We knew there were so many steps from there on out, so much more money to be raised, paperwork to be done, planning to do, a room to be re-done, craziness all around but we were ready and had no idea what was to come...only weeks later we had a court date and on April 18th he was legally our son.  July 1st he came home for good and we endured a lot of ups and downs in those first few months.  All of a sudden we woke up one day and our shy, non-English speaking, non-affectionate, little boy was talking our ears off, singing, dancing, reading, hugging and kissing us and we finally felt established as a family of 4.  I can't even begin to describe how much this boy's life has changed as well as ours, I could write a book about each day he has been home with us, each trial and tribulation and each accomplishment and celebration.  Going from parenting your biological son of 3.5 years to parenting your new son who has been on this Earth for 7 .5 years and in your home for a matter of days is VERY different!  Not only did we go from parenting a toddler to a school aged child, but parenting a child who had been through and seen more than most adults have, a child who had grieved over many losses that most people, let alone children, never have to and parenting a child from a totally different culture.  BUT we did it, we got through it and so did he and I will give God all the glory on that one because I will just say as strong as I am, I have never felt weaker and more scared in my life and I know our boy was probably feeling the exact same way.  

Now not only is today a special day for us, but it just so happened that when we were reading through our documents on Feb 27, 2012, we saw his birth date....February 28th!  I remember being sad that my son would be turning another year older tomorrow and I couldn't give him a party, a gift, a hug, or even tell someone to tell him that he had a mommy and daddy who would be coming to get him soon!  Now 1 year later, this boy knows he has a mommy, daddy and brother who love him so much and as I tucked this boy into his bed and hugged and kissed him, I got to see his excitement when I told him that when he wakes up tomorrow he would no longer be 7 and would now be 8 years old!  He got to have a birthday party last weekend and tomorrow he will get to open a few more gifts and cards and will be taking cake balls to school to share his birthday with his friends.  It is just so amazing to think back to just 1 year ago!

Fetinet celebrating turning 8 at Great Wolf Lodge!!!  Happy Birthday big boy!