A Guatemalan Adoption Story: Looking Back…The Last 7 Years
Wow, can it really be 7 years ago this month that we traveled to Guatemala to bring our son Ethan home? Where does time go?
November is also Adoption Awareness Month so I thought it was the perfect month to share more about our adoption story – the trials, struggles, and joys!
When I look back, I am filled with so many emotions. I remember… the fear of the unknown, the joy of receiving pictures and updates, the heartache when things got delayed, the anxiety of waiting for “the call”, the disappointment of missing a birthday, the many tears and prayers, and the excitement that it was finally the day we would meet our son in person! Adoption is NOT easy!
A couple pictures we got while waiting to bring him home. So fun to get but also made the waiting so hard!
Meeting Ethan Melvin for the first time! He was just over 2 years old.
Leaving for home!
His first 24 hours at home! I still smile when I think of that crazy day. The poor kid was bombarded by his 5 siblings all wanting to show him new things and do things for him!
Has it all been easy since he came home?
Absolutely not! The first year or so was hard at times. He was very friendly (almost too friendly) to everyone and anyone. Other people thought that was great but he would have been just as happy to go home with you, as he was us. Once the “newness” and excitement of bringing him home wore off, we realized that the hard work of parenting him and building that bond had just begun.
He was charming and craved attention but that did turn into negative attention for a while. He would do things just to get a reaction out of us, even if it was negative. It was very hard to determine if it was just typical two year old behavior or if it was related to adoption. Looking back, I think we were too hard on him at times and expected too much out of him for all he had been through. I do regret that and wish I would have handled things differently. It was a harder transition than when we adopted our daughter and I don’t think I was prepared for that. It took him much longer to form a true bond with our family. However the good days far outweighed the bad days!
We had a lot of fun experiencing many “firsts” with him!
Has it been worth it?
Absolutely Yes! I love this little guy with all my heart. I have no idea what the future will hold for him, but the same is true for any of my children. God has placed him in our family and he has a special place in my heart. I am sure that more questions may arise as he goes through his teenage years about adoption but we will support him and love him through it. It is my prayer that he will always know how special he is to us and how thankful we are to God for blessing us with him!
Today he is happy, full of life, eager to please, loves to eat, and tries hard. He has a smile that you can’t resist and still has a mischievous side! He thrives on praise and loves to feel important. He loves to play outside and go fishing. He can certainly hold his own with his 5 siblings!
Is he perfect? Of course not, but he is the perfection completion to our family. He is curious about Guatemala and I am planning to take him along on a mission trip to Guatemala when he gets a little older.
Adoption is a special calling! I am humbled that God choose me to be his mom. Some days it is a calling that I feel like I fail to live up to but seek to do better at!
I have been asked by people considering adoption if I feel differently about my adopted children than I do my biological children. The answer is – No! Most days go by and I never even think that he is adopted. He is simply my son!
Neither flesh of my flesh,
Nor bone of my bone,
But miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute
You didn’t grow under my heart
BUT IN IT.
by Fleur Conkling Heyliger
We also adopted our daughter from Russia in 2002. I love sharing about adoption and connecting with other adoptive moms (or those considering adoption).
If you have any questions about adoption feel free to comment below or contact me. I would love to connect with you!