In comparison to our current adoption, our adoptions from Uzbekistan (9 months) and Ukraine (5 months) progressed fairly quickly. As we were going through the process however, time seemed to stand still.
We first saw a picture of our son Joshua in March of 2007. I instantly knew that he was meant to be our son. From that moment on we moved at rapid speed to complete our homestudy and assemble our dossier, which we submitted in June (2007). As soon as we had completed our paperwork, time seemed to stand still. Every day seemed like an eternity and I spent most of the waking hours daydreaming of my beautiful baby boy and the day that I would finally hold him in my arms. That day could not come quickly enough.
We finally received word in late September that I would be traveling to bring Joshua home in late October. The next month was a whirlwind as I made travel plans, moved my family to a new home and packed my bags for a two week adventure on the other side of the world. I could not wait to meet my son.
The day after we arrived in Uzbekistan, we (my step-father, facilitator and I) traveled by car to Samarkand, where Joshua's orphanage was located. Upon arrival we met with our translator (Sanat), checked into our hotel and then hurried off to meet with the "Mayor" (Hokim) whose signature would finalize our adoption. During my meeting with the Mayor he expressed concern that we had not met Joshua yet and asked that we visit the orphanage before he signed the adoption decree. It was already late in the afternoon and time was running short, so we crowded into the car and rushed to the orphanage. I was so anxious. The moment that I had been waiting for had finally arrived.
That first meeting lasted less that ten minutes. Once we arrived at the orphanage, we were invited into the director's office and a caretaker was sent for Joshua. She brought him into the room a few minutes later and placed him into my arms. He looked right into my eyes and held my gaze. A flood of emotions rushed over me. Love, excitement, fear, trepidation and relief all washed through me as I stared into Joshua's eyes. A moment later he was taken from my arms and we were rushing back across town so that the Mayor could sign the decree declaring Joshua our son. I would not see Joshua again for several more days (for the complete saga, please click here).
A few days later, we were back at the orphanage to pick Joshua up. I was so excited to take him from the orphanage. Walking out of those doors with my baby in hand brought with it a huge sense of relief. He was mine. . .forever. That first night was amazing. The following in an excerpt from a blog post following Joshua's "Gotcha" day:
"It was hard to sleep on Friday night because, after almost 8 months of looking at his picture and wishing I could hold him, love him and smother him with kisses, I was in awe that all I had to do was roll over and there he was, just inches from me! I laid there for hours just watching him sleep peacefully." (click here for the entire post)
(My sweet, sleeping, Uzbek angel the night I took him from the orphanage)
I have since spent many, many more nights watching him sleep peacefully and marveling at how much my Heavenly Father must love me to have blessed me with such an incredible little boy. Every time I watch him sleep I am reminded of the sweetness of this day, of this moment and I look forward to making similar memories with my girls. I know that when that day comes, as I am watching them sleep peacefully beside me, I will know that every stress, frustration and difficulty within this process will have been worth it a thousand times over.