May 12, 2010

One Chapter Ends... Another Begins

Today we begin the last chapter of our journey to parenthood.
Today we also begin a new chapter ~ a chapter where we finally become a family of three. Today Big Bear and I are leaving for Hong Kong. This is the beginning of a journey that will be exciting yet scary. A journey that will complete our dream of becoming parents; my dream to finally be a mom.

I cannot believe that after nearly eight years we are finally so very close to being parents. There have been hopes & dreams, red tape, hoops to jump, prayers, paper work, and tears ~ lots of tears. So many hours were spent wondering why? Sleepless nights trying to figure out what did I do wrong? So many times my heart has been broken. So many hours questioning why is it so hard for us and so easy for ~ what seemed like ~ everyone else.

Now we know this is why:

This little picture has made such a difference in our lives already. This little man has answered many of the ‘Whys?’. This lil’ man has shown me that God sure does have a plan. I may not have understood or have been very patient at times ~ most of the time ~ now though, everything seems to be falling perfectly into place. I am ashamed to admit that I lost faith, but I did. Thankfully because of my husband and some very good friends we continued to wait, even though I really wanted to quit. Goodness! The thought of that now, makes me teary. If we had quit we wouldn’t be traveling right now to get Zachary.

Now it is time to close this chapter. As hard as it was to go through this process, it was also a huge time of growth for me. I have learned so much about myself. I am much more confident in who I am and where I am going. I have learned how to "let it go, let it be free". I feel that I am a better person because of the journey that we have had to endure. I feel that all of this will help me be a better wife, friend, and most importantly a mom.

On to begin the next chapter!
Even though I am excited for what the next few days will bring, I am also scared to death. I know that we will be fulfilling our dream, but in order to do that we will be shattering Polar Cub’s world. In the blink of an eye the only world he has ever known will be ripped away from him. People that he knows will be handing him over to strange looking, funny smelling, weird sounding people. There will be cameras flashing, babies and new moms crying – maybe some dads, too. There will be lots of chatter and noise in a strange room, in a strange place. Then this strange looking couple will whisk him away to a hotel room, and the only world he has ever known will cease to exist for him.

This will be when Big Bear and I will have to step up and begin earning Zachary’s trust. We will slowly begin the process of building a bond, a relationship. We will have this little guy who will be scared. He will be grieving. He may not understand. He may feel lost. We will do everything in our power to begin earning his trust and hopefully ~in time~ his love.

Parenting every child is different. Parenting an internationally adopted child is different than parenting a biological child. Big Bear and I will be parenting a little differently so we can foster attachment. Many people will question, I am sure. Many will not understand why we are doing some of the things we will do. That is ok. I have suddenly gotten a very thick skin when it comes to this little guy. You many not agree with some of our choices, and I understand. You may offer advice and I will politely listen, but please don’t be offended if I don’t follow your advice. I have done a lot of reading and studying over the years. I have listened to people who have been there, and who continue to work on attachment issues even though they have been home for a year or more.

Big Bear and I will take Zac back as if he were a newborn. We will try to show him that he is not alone and that we are there to care for him, to meet his needs, to comfort. He will need to learn and feel he is safe. He will have all of his basic needs met by us when ~hopefully before~ he needs. Zac will need to learn that we are his parents. We are here for him now and always. For some children that is a very difficult process. We will follow his lead for each phase of this journey.

For a time Big Bear and I will be the only people who feed, change, and comfort Zac. He will need to trust us to meet those needs each and every time. Zac’s Maemae and Nannan (his grandmothers) will be the only other people in his life who can hold him for any length of time in the beginning. Zac will not be passed around. I am truly sorry if this hurts anyone’s feelings, but the needs of our son come first.

A few other things we will do to build attachment will be:
· Bottle feeding to work on touching and comfort
· Eye contact
· In the beginning we will not let him ‘cry it out’
· Keep highly stimulating environments to a minimum ~ especially at first.
· No television
· Listening, watching, and learning his cues to his needs
· Holding, carrying for extended periods of time, touching
· Time ‘ins’ instead of time ‘outs’

We will be doing all the things any new parents would do with a newborn. The difference, and the difficulty, will be Zac is older. All of this will take time. It will take patience, understanding, and consistency from both Big Bear and I. Both of us are committed to this and to our son. We are willing and ready to do all we can to help Zac.

Thank you for your understanding, love and patience while we try to figure this parenting gig out. I know we won’t be perfect. I know we’ll make mistakes, but I also know that we are going to do the best we can for our family ~ Our family of three.

Love to you all!


  1. He is on the best of hands cos you "get it".
    Everyone around you who loves him will get it too if not at first eventually when they see him and you together and the bond that you are building.

    happy travels to all of you.

  2. What an exciting journey you are about to undertake! Safe travels to you both.
    Regarding your decisions on how to parent your baby boy - these are yours and yours alone.
    Although our kids were adopted as newborns and (thankfully) we've had no attachment issues, I continue to foster time ins, holding while feeding their bottles/sippy cups, and a variety of other things that work for us. Not everyone is in agreement, but that is their prerogative...

  3. You will be awesome parents and you'll do what is best for YOUR son no matter what any one else thinks about it, always go with your gut and what you believe to be best. We had our nay-sayers too and people who couldn't understand or who questioned what we were doing and even our motives but remember, Mama (and Baba) always know best.

    Can't wait to follow along as you become a family of three!

  4. Have a safe journey! Here's hoping these last few hours slip right by and that you are holding that precious boy before you know it!

  5. I am so darn happy for you!!! I just can not wait to see your son in your arms:)
    The day we got our oldest sons pictures all the years of our infertility made sense to me..this was WHY nothing worked as someone was going to be waiting for us in Korea.
    Safe travels and hurry up Monday!!

  6. Hope fulfilled! It only gets better and better!! Have a safe journey!!

  7. Your "mama bear" is already coming out! I love it! I know it is scary, but you are soooo ready for this. You are going to be an amazing mother.

    The minute you see that picture of your baby, you begin to understand why you went through everything you did. I know it happened the first time I saw Briana. Timing is everything. I can't wait to see Z in your arms!!!

  8. Thanks for the reassurance that it's all worth it. That means even more because you haven't even met him yet. The wait is hard so it helps to hear that again and again.

    I know you'll be an awesome mother. can;t wait to see him in your arms. :)

  9. Your words were spoken like a true mama bear. Blessings to all and God speed you to your son.

  10. A perfect post! Sometimes it's difficult for those outside of the adoption community to understand the differences. Thanks for helping to explain them.
    Blessings as you travel to meet your new son!

  11. Oh friend, you're doing so well already! You've learned so much and are ready to put Zac first. To those of us who have BTDT we say, 'You go girl!!' Zac is number one. I found it was often the 'older generation' who didn't really understand what I was doing and it was hard but I told a number of grandma aged well-meaning ladies that 'no' they could not hold Hannah. They were shocked but respected me.

    Zac is already loved by you and Big Bear so very, very much. He will feel this love even through his grieving time.

    Love you. Praying for you. Supporting you. Here for you.


  12. Congratulations..
    I sooo cannot wait to see Zac in your arms..
    Hugs my friend..
    Safe travels..

  13. We are so looking forward to your next chapter! You are already on your way to all that is Zac and that's the most important. Enjoy every moment and know that there are so many of us out here to support you and love you all!

    You're in our prayers! Can't wait for the 16th!

  14. You have the right stuff to be parents! You are ready! With AA, she refused the bottle in China (even though that was her only means of eating up to that time) but did after a month home and was beginning to open up. We love the eye contact and loving she gets when we still "pretend" to drink like with a bottle. After 19 months, I can tell you, lots of patience and time in's. It is worth it!!
    Enjoy the journey!!

    Alyzabeth's Mommy

  15. As complicated as it is to adopt and parent a child, any child, you'll also find that it comes much easier than you expect. He will let you know what he needs. Good luck in this life-changing time.

  16. I couldn't read and not reply, wow awesome fantastic!! I'm so excited for you and this little man.

    Your post and expectations seem very realistic, I am positive he is in great hands.

    Wishing you safe travels and an easy transition.

    Love from Australia

  17. i got all emotional with this post.....darn you.