We have been home with Ade 7 months today!
I cannot tell you how different this day is from our first weeks home.
It was all so overwhelming and so much more difficult than I ever anticipated.
With hard work, lots of tears, and tons of "We can get through this." on Yvan's part, we are doing so much better.
I feel like we are truly starting to bond as a family!
Our homecoming from Ethiopia had started on such a positive note. We had enjoyed our time with Ade in Ethiopia so much! Never in our minds did either of us think it would be so difficult to transition to our life back in Canada to a life that included Ade.
But it was.
It got better. Slowly.
People told us "the first 6 weeks are the hardest!" and they were.
The next mile marker was 3 months. Still very hard but better.
6 months hit! Major regression.
All on my part. Our 6 month anniversary fell one day after our 2 year referral anniversary.
It was hard for my brain to comprehend we had only been home with Ade for 6 months when we had first seen his wee little face 2 years before.
He was 6 months old when we got his referral. I think knowing this and the fact he had only been home for 6 months triggered some repressed grief and anger in me.
For a long time people asked me how I felt about the fact it took so long (18 months) to get Ade home. I would say it was extremely hard but that I wasn't going to let that be our memory. I took all of the pain and anger I had and hid it. Pretended it hadn't bothered me or that I wasn't angry with the circumstances and sometimes the people who had been a part of our lengthy process. I said "it is what is?" a lot.
But I was angry. Hurt and saddened for all the lost time we had with Ade. Had he come home "when he was supposed to" he might have been a year old. But life doesn't always happen "the way it is supposed to", nope not all.
I had to admit that I had wanted him when he was younger. Bonding would have been so much easier. He wouldn't be a running, jumping, bouncing, never-staying-still 2 year old who would have like to cuddle more. Or maybe he wouldn't have.
At 6 months home, I grieved for all the time we had lost with him. I grieved for the 6 month old baby I first saw on our referral day.
I let out all the anger and blame for delays I had.
It wasn't pretty.
But it needed to come out!
Then I looked at where we are now. The reality of Ade being 2.5 years old and only with us for such short amount of time. Took a deep breath and said "O.k. this is where we are! Stop living in the past and get on with it!"
Today, this morning, as I sat and had my tea and watched Ade playing with his trucks I realized the daily anxiety of "What have we done?" was gone.
In its place was routine. A Comfortableness I hadn't felt before.
Now, don't get me wrong. There are still days that are hard. Days where there are tears on all our parts.
I have come to the realization that a family is a lifetime in the making. No matter how your family came to be.
We will always be a work in progress.