This adoption has been much different than Lleyton's adoption. There are a few reasons for that. I believe the biggest reason for us is that Parker is an older child. We have found that the unknown that comes with adopting an older child is sometimes frightening. Although we are extremely happy to be traveling to Africa to meet him and bring him home next week, we are also quite apprehensive about how he is going to react to us? How is he going to interact with us? How will he feel about getting on that plane with us and leaving Ethiopia far below? How will he handle leaving a country where nearly every person looks like him and coming to place where no one in his school will look like him? Some of these answers will come quickly and others will take time.
We have talked with many families who have adopted older children from Ethiopia since deciding on Parker and each of them has had a different experience. Although each family has a different story, each family agrees that their decision to bring home an older child was the right one.
The emotions I have felt since getting the call last week that our Embassy date is June 2nd have been all encompassing. I have felt moments of excitement, moments of trepidation, moments of wonderment, moments of joy, moments of sadness, and many more. With each emotion comes a feeling that Sara and I are two of the luckiest and most fortunate people in the world, as we are getting to do things and go places and help children in ways we never could have imagined, all while forming the family that we have yearned for for years.
Hopefully the moments of trepidation and fear will be laid quietly to rest after getting to Ethiopia and meeting our son. Hopefully he will fall head over heels in love with us and welcome the new life we have in store for him here at home. But if he doesn't, we are prepared to deal with whatever comes our way. As I have said numerous times on this blog and as I said many other times during this adoption and Lleyton's adoption, we are preparing for the worst, and hoping for the best.
I am not sure the moments of sadness will go away anytime soon. After all, Parker is leaving the land of his ancestors, the only land he has ever known, and he is leaving many loved ones and friends behind. I am just praying that Sara and I will be able to comfort him in his moments of sadness and grief. My fingers are crossed that he will instantly love his new family here, and I am confident he will as it would be very tough not to, but we don't want him to forget those that he is leaving behind as he joins us. After all, those are the people that have forged him into the beautiful little boy that we have heard about from those that have been fortunate enough to meet him.
Just as our fears and concerns are very real right now, so is the excitement we feel about getting to Ethiopia and meeting this child that we have come to love so much through pictures and videos. Our journey to adopting and bringing Parker home culminates in less than a week, and then so begins our new lives as a family of four with Parker and Lleyton together. Wish us luck!