Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Day We Met Our Son.

We drove to a park on the outskirts of Phoenix and began to walk around. I couldn't bring myself to let go of Russell's hand or to venture far from him. I was so nervous and excited and anxious.
I turned to Russ and asked him;

"How crazy would it be if they just walked around the corner?"

Russ looked up and saw a lady walking with a little boy and a wagon and said

That's them. That's them!"

We said hello to his foster mom and then introduced ourselves to him. He was extremely shy and didn't quite want to make eye contact with us. 

His foster mom kept telling him, "remember, these are your new friends we were going to meet."
But he stayed to himself. She then laughed and told us, "well he has to be somewhat relieved! On the way here he was worried that you guys were tigers!"

The first hour or so that we walked around the grounds of the park, he kept his distance. He clung to his foster mom and, when he did venture a little ways away, he kept sneaking glances over his shoulder to make sure we weren't getting too close. 

He found a couple of oranges on the ground beneath a tree and collected them into his wagon and had his foster mom hold one. After walking through a couple of gates, a couple of times, he began tossing the orange and running after it. I asked if he wanted to race, and he gave me a firm 'NO'. He threw the orange at a palm tree and nailed it from at least 6 feet away, which we were impressed with for a 3 year old!

He then proceeded to chuck the orange at us and yell "WATCH OUT". 
In that order.

I couldn't help but laugh and think about telling him the story of the day we met, when he is much older, and telling him "yeaa, you chucked oranges at us." haha. 

It took about an hour or so for him to warm up and then we began playing on the playground. We played tag and hide and go seek. We built sand castles around the orange and pushed him on the swings for a little bit. 

We found a sprinkler box with a hole in it and he told us there was a snake living in there. I had goldfish in my purse so I asked if we should feed the snake. He decided we should and made quick pokes at the goldfish until it went down the hole. He was nervous there was a snake and that it would get him. As we sat there, he finally relaxed a bit and snuggled close to me as I showed him pictures of our house and videos of our puppy and nephew. He thought Echo was just the funniest thing and wanted to watch the videos over and over again.

Before we headed back to the car, we gave his foster mom some pictures of us for J. to hold on to. The change from our first seeing him, to us walking him back to his car was huge. We walked out of the park with him riding high atop Russell's shoulders and wanting to touch every leaf we walked by. He gave us huge hugs and just about burst my heart as he reached up and touched the side of Russell's face before laying his head on Russell's chest.

He gave us the biggest, squeeziest hugs I've ever received. We walked back to our car on cloud nine talking about all the things we were going to do on Sunday when we took him out for the day.


We just can't believe that he's ours. He's smart and funny. As well mannered as any 3 year old comes and wants so earnestly and completely to be loved.

He looked at Russell while Russell held him and said 
"Hey, I have blue eyes just like you!"

Foster mom sent me pictures throughout the day today. He is inseparable from the orange that "his friends gave him" and she sent a picture of him showing one of his foster brothers all the pictures we sent home with him. 

I really didn't think I would fall in love this quickly. I was prepared, realistically I thought, for this to take time. To even feel a little guarded but I find myself missing him already. Which feels crazy to say, but...its scary and beautiful as it is.

My heart is officially his.

Friday, November 14, 2014

6 hours...

We are meeting J. at a park with his foster mom and case worker in 6 hours.

I've been all excitement until about 2 days ago and now I am...


I have a million things to get done but all I can seem to do is pace around the house, exhale and be surprised at how hard my heart is beating. 

How does anyone keep their wits about them in this situation?


In so many ways it feels like the beginning. The beginning of growing our family. The beginning of actually parenting a child. The beginning of all of our lives together.


At the same time it feels like the end and the middle as well. We've wanted this for so long. It is an odd feeling to hold something so dear, yet so undefined, close to your heart and then one day have everything presented to you.  Here are the details of what/who you have been waiting for.

I'm nervous to meet my child and be introduced to him by a woman he calls mommy and who knows him better than I will for a long time.


How do I introduce myself to him? 

"Hi! I'm Cambra!"
"Hi J., I'm mommy Cambra"
"Hey stranger, I'm a stranger. Come live with us!"


Do I bring a toy?
Or will that set up expectations of gifts each time he sees us that we can't maintain forever?
Do I bring a snack?
When do we introduce our dog?


When will my heart come out of my throat and let me love you like I want to?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Little Boy J.

October. 28, 2014

We had been waiting for this day for months, and somehow we knew we'd be getting a call today. We just knew it would work out like that...because life can get pretty crazy at times, and that seems to be the norm around here.

So around 8:30 on this beautiful Tuesday morning, I heard my phone start to ring and immediately realized it was our case worker calling. (We have a special tone set for her calls). Before answering my phone, I woke Russ up.

"Russell...Roxie is calling..."
"We knew it would happen like this..we knew it! Hello?"

Roxie continued to tell us that our home study was being worked on to change our license from adoption to foster care. We had decided that we were going to change our license at the beginning of the year and she was calling to tell us that, 

"BUT" she said "I have a call for a little boy."

She proceeded to tell us what she knew about J. and I knew it was him. Russell was still half awake, although startled, so I asked her if I could have some time to relay the info to Russ and I'd text her back. We texted her within 5 minutes:

"Russ says 'well, that sounds pretty awesome' 
We'd love to get more info"


I remember sitting on the couch reading over the additional information, knowing and just thinking to way...we found him...

As soon as Russell walked through the door, I told him all about J. and he shook his head slightly and said something along the lines of 

"holy crap, this is totally him"


The meeting was all set to take place at 9:00 Wednesday morning, so I emailed our case worker around 8 saying "fingers crossed for today!"

at 9:00 she emailed back

"actually,  meeting is rescheduled for tomorrow"
"ok, well, fingers crossed for tomorrow then" 

Really? This could be listed as a form of torture. But, part of us also knew that it'd be pushed back to be on Thursday...because, like I said...sometimes life gets crazy and that really, really seems to be the norm around here.

We went to Target and Russell picked out a little shirt for J. 


So Thursday morning rolls around and we have no idea when the meeting for today is supposed to be. We cautiously hope its in the morning, but aren't expecting anything. The day before, we had learned that there were at least 4 families involved in the selection process...which is a ton. Part of us felt like we should feel nervous, but through this whole process, we just knew. 

Roxie called a little after 10:00. I stared at my phone for a second, took a deep breath and answered:

"Good news!"
"Oh my goodness, I'm so glad you led with that! I don't want to say we knew, but we knew!"

She told us that there was another family in the running who actually knew some of J's relations that he was still close to and she thought we were out for sure. But she really brought it home and the fact that we volunteer with kids at the crisis center along with our blip as 'safety monitors', swayed J's case worker in our favor.


Monday night we left 40 minutes early to get to the meeting and arrived 10 minutes late. I've never felt so anxious in traffic in my entire life.

We finally get to the meeting and, luckily, J's caseworker started with pictures.

I always get teary eyed when I think about big moments in my life. When Russell and I were preparing to get married, when meeting new nieces and nephews, seeing a picture of my 3 1/2 year old son for the first time...

But it never goes like that. I go into this surreal, try to listen, floaty mode. Where I just say, "ok" to all the things I thought I would cry and give emphatic yes!-es and of course!s.

At the close of the meeting we set a time for this friday (11/14/14) to meet J. Russell and I walked out to the parking lot where he kept hugging me and saying 

"I'm so excited!"


I can't believe we're meeting our son on Friday. We aren't sure if he'll have been told that he is being adopted or if we'll just be introduced as foster mom's friends...who will just keep showing up...

We bought a kite, just in case there is a breeze.