Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Flashback

I recently came across a notebook that I had used to make different notes about milestones and such during the adoption process. I also took this notebook to Russia to journal some about my experience and feelings. Among the things I found in this notebook, was a outline of Henry's foot that I had traced, along with his measurements...taken on 9/30/04.

I also found where I had written myself a list of questions that I wanted to ask his caretakers. Underneath, in a different ink, I had written the answers. There were a few gems I thought I would share to demonstrate just how early Henry asserted his

Q: What does he eat?
A: He is not a picky eater. He will eat whatever we give him.

Q: How does he interact with the other children?
A: He is very inquisitive, he needs to know what is going on.

Q: What is his favorite toy or activity?
A: He likes music. When the music teacher comes, that is his favorite.

And now, to go with the picture above, here is what I wrote in my journal after meeting my Henry for the first time:

September 28, 2004....My stomach drops as Irina announces that this is the turn that will take us to the baby home. She has spewed out what little she knows about his short history. I almost cannot absorb and comprehend every thing she tells me. It hasn't really sunk in that she is telling me about MY SON. But now, with butterflies in my stomach, it is finally real. She tells me he is the best one in his age group. I am sure she tells every new family this, but no matter, I still believe her.

Now we are standing in the hall waiting for the caretakers to bring me my son so that I can take him outside. Every set of footsteps creates more butterflies. Finally, Irina calls "Paula, your son is waiting for you to come and get him." I walk into the room. My immediate reaction is to notice the strong resemblance he has to Kody and Caleb. He looks at me uncertainly. I do not immediately pick him up because I do not want to scare him. Instead, I begin talking to him and touching him. He is still not too sure about me.

Finally, I pick him up. He begins to whimper. I just keep talking to him, softly but confidently, and he calms down.

He's wearing a cute blue sleeper with a train on it. It looks brand new. Because the caretakers strongly feel that the kids need to be bundled up, I don't hesitate when they bring me a purple knit sweater sleeper. They also give me green knit booties, which I put on over the feet of his sleeper. Finally, they give me a Winnie the Pooh yellow cap to put on his head. I don't want to cover his precious blond curls, but even more, I don't want to bring on the wrath of the caretakers. So I put it on him. And we're off...

After disgarding the thought of using a stroller, we head to the playground in the back of the baby home. Irina and the other family head off to find their daughter. At last, I am alone with my little bundle of son.

I want to know everything. What color are his eyes? I try to look. In the bright sunlight, they look grey with flecks of gold.

I break out the snacks I brought for him. He is not shy to take them and eat them. He likes the little fruit puffs and he seems to relax a little. I bring out the photo album and he seems curious looking at the pictures. He points to the subjects in each shot and really seems excited when he reaches the picture of the dogs. I know I am practicing wishful thinking, but when I ask him where Mama is, he actually points to me in the picture.

We are together for almost an hour before he actually smiles and laughs. He responds the same way as Jack when I take his arms and throw them in the air, exclaiming "YEAH". And this earns me my first laugh. By now, I have made him show me his teeth. He has 4 on top and 4 on the bottom, and 4 more crowning.

Towards the end of our first visit, he allows himself to snuggle. He lets me hold him like a baby. He has his face against his blankie. And he just lays there calmly and lets me rock him. It was perfect. He is perfect.
Thanks for joining me on this journey down memory lane. To my loyal readers, I will admit I have been a very bad blogger as of late and have missed many good stories to share. I promise that I'll bet back to a regular routine of sharing the hilarity of Henry.


  1. Paula, thank you for sharing this. I felt your butterflies and your joy.

    How have you been felling? Drop me a line.


  2. Thanks for sharing your sweet story.


  3. I felt like I was right there with you two, watching the beginning of your relationship. I'm still wiping away the tears.

    Thank you so much for sharing. Love you and miss you!