The Day I First Met My Son
Six years ago, my life changed - it's never been the same since.
I was reading the story James found about The Rock. Dwayne Johnson bought his dad, Rocky, a new car for Christmas. He shared how hard his Dad's life was as a kid. You can see the rest of that story here.
Six years ago yesterday, I met my son Justin for the first time.
I've told you about this before. My wife and I had been trying to adopt and start a family for a long time. Close to seven years. One adoption agency told us that the average waiting time was anywhere from eighteen months to four years. For a newborn.
By December 2010, we weren't sure we'd ever be parents. I made a New Year's Resolution that I wanted to be a Dad in 2011. A friend, saw my Facebook post and sent me a PM. "There's this boy..."
Bada-bing, bada-boom, January 3rd, 2011, I was starting a week of vacation by driving up passed the Twin Cities to Plymouth to pick up my son for a week-long visit. We were going to try each other out.
I left the house to pick him up at eleven that morning. After picking him up, I was gonna pick Cathy up and we were going to go out for dinner together. I got stuck in rush hour traffic and got back a little later than I expected. I stopped at McDonald's and got him some fries for the ride. Cathy called me to see if we were alright and ask how far away we were. I was doing what you should NEVER do - talking on a cell phone while driving.
But from the back seat, there was this little voice. "Mama?"
Cathy heard that, and that was when she knew her son was coming home.
I was nervous. But then, so was our son. He was a handful right from the beginning. The challenge was communication. He didn't know a word of English. We didn't know any Russian. He came with flashcards. We were given a phone number for a translator.
It was a pretty fun week. We both sat around the house in our pajamas watching Spongebob and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
His visit with us ended Sunday, January 9th. We took him to the airport. We watched him get on the plane through the window. He ran back to us three times to tell Cathy that everything would be okay.
We found a table in the food court at the airport to hold hands and ball our eyes out.
Nine months later, we were in Kiev. Our flight out was on September 11th. Justin came home for good on October 23rd.
Reading the story James found about The Rock's dad - how hard his life was at a young age - makes me sad and angry. But, every minute with my kids is important. It's like gold. It's a roller coast ride.
It's been a pretty fun roller coaster ride.