"I can't do this. I don't know how to take care of him. The orphanage can take better care of him than me." It wasn't the moment I imagined it to be. It wasn't like how (what seemed like) how everyone described it. In fact, it was hard and scary. But how could a little (and I mean size 3T little) 6 year old scare me so much. I looked at him and felt so distant. Where was the automatic "love" that so many people talked about when they met their adopted child for the first time?
Adopting has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. And I'm not talking about the paperwork, although, that was hard, but doable. It has changed me and sharpened me in areas that I would have rather left untouched. Adopting has been a huge adjustment in my life. And yes, I have forgotten many times that I had a child, especially in the beginning. (I know, go ahead and laugh). But the adoption process didn't just start with paperwork, choosing a child, more paperwork and more paperwork and then finally meeting our son. It started with mourning the fact that I am not able to have children (which I'm sure I'll share about later). We had been waiting for so long to finally have a child (8 1/2 years) and finally the moment had come.
The day we met Bohao and he became part of our family was a day full of so many emotions. We, along with 2 other families, had gone to the Social Welfare office to pick up our newly adopted children. Before meeting our children, Bohao actually walked in the room twice, one to arrive and once to go to the little boys room. I cried.... I mean I ugly cried. I was scared, I was excited and I was nervous. So much had led up to this moment. Then, out he came in his little blue Snoopy coat and his blue backpack with soy milk and crackers and his pink and yellow shoes. I kept waiting for the moment that I felt love for him, but it didn't happen. Guilt. I had already failed. We walked over to talk with the director and ask her some questions. Bohao happily checked out the toys we had for him and ate the snacks we had purchased in Cambodia. But then it was time to go. The moment went so fast and he was ours. There was no turning back. He was so small, much smaller than I imagined. He was so cute... and still is. I had no idea what to do. I was overwhelmed and scared. I can't imagine how scared he was when he first came with us. He didn't really speak and only said a few words too us. We knew that he was speech delayed, but we didn't realize the extent of delay he had. We thought he would be more like a 5 year old, but the truth is, he was more like a 2 or 3 year old, something I didn't want to admit at all. He touched everything.... and I mean EVERYTHING! And even though we were scared and felt like we didn't know what to do, when Bohao laughed, he began slowly working his way in to our hearts.
It's been a year now and looking back at our pictures, I see smiling faces. But the truth was, I was scared. We both were. And even though we have all been through a lot in this past year, I wouldn't give him back for anything. I can truly say that I love him and he loves us. He loves his family (on both sides of the world). And although this has been one of the toughest years of our lives, I know he is happy and we are too.
My name is Jenn Huon. Over the past sevearl months, God has laid it on my heart to share about all that we have been through in our adoption and life with missions. I hope that this will be encouraging to those who read as you cry and laugh with me.