Lots of people told us it would be hard and we completely believed them. But when you are walking it day in and day out you can't remember what anyone said or didn't say or suggested or I-told-you-so-ed. You were just surviving. We cocooned ourselves (like our adoption classes and adoption agency told us to) to give the boys a stable, simple life the first six months and this isolation only added to the strange space-time-continuim we felt. As the first year home rolled into the second year home, we didn't see an end in sight, which made it even harder.
Then we hit the two year mark of adding Andrew and Simon to our family and something changed. I was working during the holiday season, we were joyfully adding new holiday traditions and the Barber family was thriving. We began to feel a sense of rest, as if the adoption vacuum that had sucked us up in January 2012 had finally decided to spit us out again. And for the first time in three years, Craig and I could breathe again.
And what do you do when you breathe again? You dream.
Andrew and Simon show affection to us and their siblings. They express emotion, communicate their desires and share many jokes. Their appetites are healthy and their imagination is vivid. And boy, can they climb, jump and run! They embody everything a healthy three year old should be and we are so thrilled! What parent would ask for more?
We all still have our days of troubles and tantrums and turmoil, but it is less frequent and more easily tended to. This is what I envisioned when we adopted. These sweet moments and long hours of parenting come to fruition. Two years later and life is starting to feel normal.
In November 2012 we flew around the world and made two strangers our sons.
The oddness and wonder is not lost on me.
Love (and years of hard work) builds a family.
p.s. Read our 1 year adoption anniversary using YouTube videos or our Gotcha Day post.