On Thursday morning we make J's adoption final! We have family joining us for the event and are planning on making an entire day of it celebrating his official christening as a Helzer.
I cannot believe 7 months have passed since he first moved in with us. The transition was no walk in the park. Nate and I had no experience parenting, and J had not had two consistent parents for quite some time. I think the struggle, though, taught us all about unconditional love.
Like a five year old is wont to do, J has flip-flopped back and forth between being excited about his adoption and saying he doesn't want to be adopted. He can't ever articulate why he is or is not excited; I'm not sure he fully understands his emotions. But I think he is scared this adoption thing is not going to happen. He is old enough to have memories with his birth mom and birth dad, his removal from the home, his time in foster care, etc. He's old enough to remember his trauma even if he can't put words to it. So tonight when we read a book about adoption, it did not break my heart when he said he didn't want to be adopted and change his name to Helzer. Imagine being old enough to experience all he has, to be told that you'd be going back "home" only to end up in a stranger's home who tells you they're going to be your new mom and dad. No matter how much we eased him into this, he's bound to feel troubled by it, to feel allegiance to his first family even though it was traumatizing.
While he isn't as excited about the adoption as we are, I do hope it's a day that is joyful for him, one that he'll remember fondly. I hope someday he will understand all of this and that he'll feel special because we chose him to be our son and love forever despite any scars and wounds. I hope he comes to know that we love him unconditionally for the rest of our lives.