As adoptive parents, we accept that there will be a lot of missing puzzle pieces in our son or daughter’s early years. We know that the same questions we have our child will struggle with 100 times more. We spend many hours laying in bed preparing ourselves for the inevitable questions…trying to think of the best words to say when the time comes. Praying we handle things “right”. Praying for guidance. We think a lot about our children’s birth parents and previous care givers, and wish there was a way to let them know that the baby they love and think of daily is still loved, safe, and healthy. We wish that when we went to the pediatrician we had more history to give them vs a blank stare and a shrug. What happens when all of the sudden there is glimpse into your child’s lost years? That is exactly what has happened to me this weekend. I have found several videos of Bo’s early years. Best yet they were of the moments that every parent cherishes…the first steps! Maria’s Big House of Hope has promised to find me more! WHAT AN AMAZING GIFT! In the mean time I have scoured their blog during the time Bo (aka Julian) was there. Every time I see his beautiful baby face and electric smile, I burst into tears. Another puzzle piece slides into place! THANK YOU MBHOH!!!!http://showhope.org/julian/ As well as complete gratitude, I have felt like this gift has stirred something inside of me. I am feeling called….to what I am not sure yet. Perhaps it’s as simple as doing fundraising for MBHOH. Maybe it’s more. I don’t know yet. Perhaps it’s as simple as sharing this with all of you, and urge you to once again consider adoption. There are so many children that just need families to take the leap of faith and say YES! Part of the reason I have been so emotional this weekend is realizing that Bo had such great love and attention for a period of time, and then he was called back to the orphanage where he was one in 850 children. He sat there for more than 4 years….waiting….hoping…..longing to feel that kind of love again. It’s no wonder Bo doesn’t want to leave my side. Sigh…. Please consider adoption. Please. All these children want is love….the love of a family.
Today has been a tough day for several reasons. It was one of those days that you start to lose hope and faith. Then the day turned on a dime. Isn’t it amazing how that can happen? It all changed with a FaceBook message from my friend Renee Booe. She had told me that Show Hope contacted her a few weeks ago because of her posts of the pictures she took of “Gotcha Day” with Bo. They thought they may have cared for Bo at Maria’s Big House of Hope. She reached out to me at that time to get Bo’s Chinese name and DOB. We had no record that he had spent time at Maria’s Big House of Hope, so I really didn’t hold out that much hope.
Then late this afternoon Renee said she heard back from Show Hope, and to check my email. I opened my email, and there was a BEAUTIFUL email from Show Hope. The lady that emailed me, Cathy, said that they had indeed cared for Bo. When he was in their care, he went by the name of Julien. She said that he was very loved! That I can completely relate too. Bo is so darn loveable!!! She also said that knowing he now had a family would be of great comfort and celebration for his nannies. I sent her back an email thanking her and the staff for taking such extraordinary care of Bo. I have spent many days wondering how it was possible that Bo survived. With all of his scars, how did he find the will to live? Now I know! He knew love! He received great care! He was nursed back to health! He had hope in his heart because he knew love.
Oh did I mention they attached a picture? The first picture we have of our precious son. Are you ready for some cuteness?
As you can imagine, I quickly emailed them back thanking them! Of course I had to attach pictures of Bo now, so they can see his shining face again. Hopefully my email brings as much happiness to them as their email did to me!
Hope….what a beautiful thing! Thank you Show Hope! Thank you Maria’s Big House of Hope! Thank you!!
Bo has been our son for almost two weeks after living in my heart for two years, and living for almost exactly 6 years in an orphanage. He has endured more in his short life than most of us can even imagine….not even in our worst nightmares.
We have loved learning who our son is, and seeing his personality begin to blossom. Bo is sweet, clever, mischievous, curious, and fun loving. A few nights ago I received my first kisses from Bo! It was a great moment. My favorite look Bo gives is when he is doing something he knows he shouldn’t. He turns of his million watt smile, and shows off his adorable dimples. MJ and I will need to get better at resisting that smile. We also love to hear him sing and dance. It is the sweetest thing you have ever seen and heard!
For the last two weeks, Bo has been trying to keep up with Christofferson speed of life. I can’t imagine going from a world where you never left an orphanage to the fast pace the last two weeks have been. Taxi rides to here, buses to there, a subway ride to yonder, and plane rides across half the world. Once we are home I am afraid there will be a lot more to get use to….mom’s cooking, a new bed, more sibling, school starting, English, etc.
I am not sure how to prepare all of our family and friends on how tiny Bo is. Even though he is six, he looks more like a 2 year old. He is a tiny little peanut, but wants to do must things on his own. When he sleeps, he looks so much like a baby. He is about the same size Gabe and Griffin were at 1 year old. I am pretty sure Mae will be taller than him. I know she weighs more.
Disneyland Hong Kong was quite a treat! We all loved watching Bo’s eyes light up and get as big as saucers. Such precious memories we made.
Today Gabe, MJ, and I were more than ready to get home. Elle apparently loves hotel living…..either that or the pools. In the beginning and ending of the trip I was so glad you brought Elle and Gabe. In the middle of the trip (in particular Zhengzhou), I questioned our decision to bring Elle Belle. It is a hard, gruelling trip with not much time for fun or silliness. She struggled a bit watching MJ and I give our attention to Bo. She was unsure of her place even though we reassured her often. By the time we got to Guangzhou, she was doing better. By Hong Kong, she was her normal self! Yay!!
Bo did not recognize Elle. Oddly enough he did look at pictures on my iPad. I had some of Elle on Gotcha Day 18 months ago. He yelled, “Yue Yan!” when he saw her picture. I said, “That’s Elle. Yes! Yue Yan is Elle!” He looked at Elle, and shook his head no. Elle just shrugged. I ask Elle if she remembers Bo. She says, “Yes, of course!” When we FaceTime home, all the kids can’t wait to see Bo…especially Griffin. I think Griffin is excited to have another brother to lead around. Bo yells, “Mae Mae!” when he sees her. She puts both hands over her mouth and giggles. Carsten requests to see all of us to give us his smiles. That kiddo steals my heart even half a world away
Gabe has been wonderful through the whole trip. Not because we was exactly helpful, but he was never a problem. I could always count on him for a shiny smile or a positive comment. That was priceless. He says he will adopt 6 children…4 boys and 2 girls. Last night Elle said she was going to adopt three…2 girls and 1 boy. My children have never mentioned a desire to adopt before this trip. Of course they still may not, but I love seeing a light turn on in their hearts! His trip has awakened them both in some way. Perhaps it has sparked a love for humanity. It has has wrestled awake the knowledge of more than just our over indulgent world we live in. Our problems pale in comparison to how others in our world live.
Tonight we will all finally be home together as a family of 8. We will begin to search for our new normal. It will take time, but it will be well worth it! I love my big family!!! I love being home together…finally….all under one roof…all of the birdies in the nest!