Saturday, June 19, 2010

One Year Ago

Today it has officially been one year since we saw Clarissa's sweet photo and learned who she was for the first time. Wow, that was one seriously fast year, wasn't it?!

Thinking about that day makes me smile. Partly because seeing your child for the first time is pretty much the most amazing experience ever, and partly because I remember how completely FREAKED OUT I was after we got the news, lol!

I didn't really post it on the blog at the time because I didn't want to seem like I wasn't happy with the referral. I was EXTREMELY happy. But that evening, after the initial excitement wore off a little, I totally had a momentary freak out. We were sitting in a little tiny hotel room (man, I hated that hotel!), the kids were asleep and Shawn and I were of course staring at Clarissa's photo and going over the information we had received with a fine tooth comb.

Suddenly I just had a moment of "CRAP! We're flying to Korea and bringing home a BABY"! and then my anxiety kicked in and I totally freaked out, lol. Looking back on it now it's totally hillarious to me because it's so typical of the way I function. I second guess everything in my life and I over analyze EVERYTHING. I can't just be happy about anything without turning it over and examining it from every angle.

Suddenly I started worrying that maybe she had a medical problem we didn't know about (there was a possibility that she had hip dysplasia, and I didn't know anything hip dysplasia at the time so it freaked me out. She didn't have it and I have since learned that in most cases hip dysplasia isn't that big of a deal anyway.), I worried that her birth mother would change her mind before we went to Korea, I worried that Clarissa would hate us someday for taking her away from Korea (honestly, sometimes I still worry about that), I worried that I couldn't handle three kids, I worried that the boys wouldn't adjust well, I worried that South Korea would go to war with North Korea before we got there, I worried about how much this whole thing was costing us...suddenly this theoretical child was a real person and it totally freaked me out!

So I sat in the bathroom of the hotel in the middle of the night and had a panic attack and Shawn had to come calm me down. Thank goodness for Shawn, who is always the voice of reason in my life.

(Incidentally, I had the same freakout right before I gave birth to both boys. When I was pregnant with Josh I told Shawn that I had changed my mind about the whole childbirth thing and he had to remind me that it was kind of too late for that, lol.)

It's funny to me now, because all that worry, like most of the worrying I do, was pointless. None of the scary things I worried about came to pass, and even if something unexpected had happened along the way, I still knew in my heart that we were doing the right thing. We would have happily taken Clarissa with medical problems, in the middle of a war, if we had to take out a loan to pay for it...I would have swam to Korea to get her if I had to!

The next morning after I had calmed down and managed to sleep a little, the panic was over and it was replaced by excitement again. I must have looked at Clarissa's picture a million times that day. We went to the Portland Zoo that day and I kept making Shawn and the boys stop and look at her, lol. I had to stop myself from going up to total strangers and showing them her photo!

It's weird for me to look at those photos now that I know her. I memorized every single inch of those pictures. I stared at them forever, looking at her fingers and toes and all that hair and her big eyes and wondering what she would be like when we met her. She wasn't smiling in the photos we received and I remember how badly I wanted to see her smile. I wondered if she was happy. It was so hard to tell. I wondered what her life was like and where she lived and what her foster parents were like.

I know all the answers to those questions now. She was living in an apartment with the most loving foster parents we could possibly have hoped for. She was happy and well cared for and loved every minute that she was in Korea. I'll be forever grateful to her wonderful foster parents for that.

A year ago today we were jumping head first into the unknown and it was scary. Bringing a child into your life is always scary, whether you adopt them, give birth to them or whatever. It's a life changing experience.

Josh and Matthew and Clarissa have all changed my life for the better. I'm so grateful to be a mom and that I've had these amazing experiences in my life. Looking back on that day a year ago, I had no idea then what at amazing journey we were about to take. Maybe it's a good thing because if I had known how wonderful it was going to be I never could have made it through the rest of the wait.

I couldn't share the photos on my blog at the time, but I can now! Here are the photos we looked at as we gathered aound my cellphone on the side of the road on that rainy afternoon in Oregon. I knew at that moment that we had found our missing piece.


Jill said...

Oh my goodness. All of those panic feelings are what I'm feeling right now! The war, the medical questions, everything! So glad to hear it is normal! She is so beautiful - then and now!

Kristin said...

Congratulations on one year!

I have had two planned pregnancies and two not so planned pregnancies.

My first reaction at seeing that second pink line is always "Oh, my God, what have I just done"

Freak outs are normal!

My5Blessings said...

OMG she was just so totally Georgeous!!! What a Beautiful baby!!! I can see why you just kept looking at her. The night I had my 6 year old and they brought him into my room I held him for hours just staring at him. I just felt so Blessed!!!

Wendy, who takes the pictures and how often are you updated with them? I would love to see the "famous" Strawberry outfit pic.