Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pulling back

Not sure why I haven't updated in so long...
it definitely has not been because I don't have anything to
write....but more like the Wong's are out there living life - like big time,
and something always ends up on the back burner...
and this time it was the one place I used to prioritize, the place
that I made sure to come to and update so that one day when if James
wants to know what what the process was like on this side
of the world, my feelings and thoughts...some of the tough stuff...
this blog has captured it and recorded it just as it was.
The good, the bad, the hard...all of it.

It is so hard to believe that this time one year ago,
I was in the middle of planning a trip half way around the world with
five days notice and that we are almost at the one year anniversary of
one of the top days of my entire life.

April 10th, 2012, I woke up in Seoul, South Korea.
As I watched the sunrise over the city I was so thankful to finally be waking up
in the same city as my son. I was thankful that after two years in process, after carrying him in my heart for just about a year, after the uncertainty in the process and worrying that he was never coming home...I was thankful to be finally meeting the sweet boy that I already loved so much.

And at 2:15pm at our agency in Seoul, South Korea a new mama held her son
for the very first time.

What an amazing moment, looking back I still don't know how I had the strength to
get back on the airplane without him....but in hindsight I am so thankful that we had that time
together in Korea even if it meant the single toughest goodbye..EVER.  I am so blessed to have had the chance to see James' personality before we all trucked through the hard stuff...before he lost everything he had known...before the grieving...before we were all sleep deprived and wondering how we would all survive another ten minutes let alone the rest of forever.

I was blessed to know the free spirited, smile larger then life, silly , cuddly, sometimes mischievous tiny tot who came out with me for the day like he had known me for a lifetime...who was active and adventorous...

who wore himself out and then slept so peacefully in a cab back to
 Holt moments before it was time to say goodbye.

I was so very blessed to have those moments because
now that we have been home just about a year
I know that WE HAVE ARRIVED.

The Wong Family is a little over a month away from that one year mark and WE SURVIVED.

We survived the first year of international adoption and toddler adoption -
 there should be some kind of award for all of us. 

That happy, smiling, care free little boy I met in Korea is a happy, smiling, care free boy
in New Jersey...just a little bit bigger.

And he is AMAZING.

Gone are the days that we couldn't communicate... The days that I would cry just wishing I knew what to say to this sad scared little boy as he grieved the loss of his foster family that cared for him for so long. Gone are the days that everything I served him was pushed away and he refused to eat....or the days that I would try to talk to him with the small amount of Korean I knew as he looked at me perplexed...if he could talk back then he would probably have said "give it up lady".

Those days are gone because James is now rocking it - like big long sentences rocking it.
Even if his favorite is "No, I don't want too" he is rocking it.
He has lots to say.... sometimes over and over and over again.
James has a motto  - if at first you don't succeed try and try again.

"Mama - ice cream Paaalease"

"No James, we dont have ice cream in the morning"

"Mama - Ice cream Paaalease"

"No James"

"Mama Ice cream Paaalease"

You get the picture :)

Gone are the days that I worry if these two will ever be able to exist together.
That first month home I really worried.
I cried the first days home when my logical four year old suggested that "maybe he wants to go back to Korea" and I cringed when a month later she shouted "Send him back".

The truth is becoming a big sister after being an only child is tough...
but becoming a big sister to a 20 month old grieving toddler is REALLY TOUGH.

At four years old, adoption is a hard concept to understand.
I remember just days before James came home, Zoey asked me
where James' mommy was going to sleep. Why we didn't have a room for her.
The mommy that she was thinking of was his foster mother, the kind woman that was in his pictures each month as we waited to bring him home, it was his Omma.
After a few nights home, all of us a little delirious from lack of sleep, Zoey revisited that thought again.
She knew what he wanted, she shouted it out , "I told you that you should have brought his mommy".

That  night I knew that it couldn't get any worse.
It was chaos...we were all exhausted...physically, emotionally, and even a little bit spiritually. 

James' grief was big and even I felt helpless.
If bringing him back to Korea, back to his foster mother, was a real "forever" solution
I think I would have gotten on the first flight back. Not because I didn't love him, and not because I couldn't handle it, but because I had already loved him so much that it hurt to see him grieve. It hurt to have him push me away and call for Omma because I wanted to take away his pain, I didn't want him to suffer.

Big Sister got it. She knew that this little boy needed a mommy and I was not cutting it.

Those days are so far gone.

Slowly, my baby and I found the same rhythm.
Slowly, he opened his heart and let my love in.
Slowly, he realized I was his mother - he even called me Omma.

Slowly, I watched my two greatest joys find joy in one another.
I watched the love between them blossom, and grow.

Slowly, I watched them forever becoming brother and sister -
joined in their hearts. ♥

Gone are the days that I wonder if a temper tantrum is attachment related or if
my strong willed son just really wants to play outside in the rain.

Gone are the days that we eat 15 lollipops a day, because James likes them, and if I am
the keeper of the lollipops then maybe, just maybe he will let me in.

Gone are the days of post placement visits, court appearances, and paperwork. 

We arrived...we are family.

I have a mama's boy who loves to snuggle - and I love it.
He loves to give kisses and is super sweet.
I have a baby girl who loves her brother so much, and a baby boy who
looks up to his big "sissstaaa".
And a daddy who loves them both so much.

And in this family, we keep an extra special spot for some very special people half way around the world. The foster families who cared for our sweet son until he had a forever family, and an amazing woman who gave this amazing little boy the gift of life.

Pulling Back

So now, the pulling back part. A few weeks ago I read the blog of another adoptive family that really made sense. She wrote about how they are home and settled and maybe its time to say goodbye to inviting the whole world in, to putting everything out there, and for me it made sense.

Like her, I loved having this blog as a creative outlet, as a place to put into words the emotions in my heart.
But I am only one part of this huge dynamic situation, and one day James might not like that I chose to share my feelings about our journey with the world.

So, as we approach one year home, we will be also approaching another ending.

While I will continue to blog about the daily happenings and the joy my kids bring, I will be pulling back and blogging  much less about adoption. I will also be having this blog printed, put away, and then removing the posts that one day James might not want to share with the world.

Because the truth is while adoption is beautiful, with the beauty also comes loss.
And so much of our family story is his story.
He might not care that I shared with the world those first days,
but maybe he will.
And now, as he gets older, it is our job to protect his back story....
And  after almost a year home, the story that we have written
together the past 11 months is very much part of his back story...

One day James might want to share what he knows about his life in Korea
or how he grieved the loss of his Omma...but it will be his story to tell.

But for now, he is just the sweet little boy who was born in "Kia" is "2" and flew home on the "big awplane".