“Why do you want to adopt?” It was a question we heard several times when we began the process of adoption nearly two years ago. When an acquaintance of my husband asked him that question, he said: “Life is short. You’ve got to love as many people as you can.” It was the perfect answer. Sometimes, men can really get to the point. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
There were in fact many factors that led us toward adoption, but none more important than the one Alex gave. We have been home with our new son Henry for one month, a tiring but happy month of changes for all of us. Henry is a bundle of energy, an active, happy, social and opinionated two year old. He was born in China and we traveled there in early June to meet him and bring him home. Americans have adopted children from China for many years now, and the majority of children adopted from China are girls. So, it surprises people when they learn that some boys in China are also abandoned and in need of “forever families.”
We are now the proud, tired, busy parents of two boys. Henry’s big brother Owen is four. Both of our children have had so much change in the last few weeks. It has been at times tough, in-the-trenches parenting—helping the boys adjust to each other, getting over jet lag, resuming work and other responsibilities, and trying to find a few moments in the day to just relax, read, or call a friend. The house is messier and the dishes are endless. But there is more laughter and lots of goofy fun. It is amazing to watch the boys evolve as brothers—to hug spontaneously, to burst into laughter at each other. We are delighted to finally be a family of four.
There was an amazing moment in the first few days back home in Oregon when I knew that Henry understood he was home. It’s hard to describe but I could tell by the look of contentment on his face, the relaxation and comfort with the new surroundings, and the way he seemed to take ownership of the entire house, and everything in it.
No matter how one becomes a parent, it is hard work, and it is infinitely rewarding—the best and most important thing I will ever do.