Three years ago today we attended a very important meeting.
One that changed all our lives forever.
We dropped Brown Bear off at school and went to visit a family we had only met once before.
I think we arrived early and waited outside until the agreed time. We knocked on the door and they opened the door to greet us. With a lot of nervousness we went to the room at the back of the house to see the special person we were meeting. We had seen photos of him so we knew what he looked like, but we hadn't spoken to him or seen him for real. I held back a bit as I didn't want to overwhelm him and I didn't know how he would react to us. He had seen photos of us too and when we came in he went over and picked up a small album and showed us. He recognised us from the family photo we had sent. He didn't say much - he had a dummy in his mouth so it would have been muffled anyway. He looked at us and smiled, then walked back to a place of safety and watched us.
He was dressed like a little old man in a sweater vest - like the ones my dad wears. He stood in front of the TV screen - like my sister used to. He surveyed us from afar and made a decision about whether we were ok to approach or not - I'm told Hubbie was like that too.
Hubbie was first to engage with him. He lay on the floor and played with toys until with tentative steps Blue Bear came over to join in. I sat back and watched. He was so tiny. So much more beautiful than the photos we had seen. Quiet, thoughful and shy. He kept going back to the comfort of his foster carer for a cuddle and reassurance that these people who had come were ok. Hubbie coaxed giggles and laughter from him and it was the most magical sound.
We didn't stay long that first day. After around an hour we left to go home. All the way back we chattered away. There was so much to tell Brown Bear and he was excited to hear all about it. I made some notes immediately we got home as a friend had advised me to. I am so glad I listened as so much happens and it's difficult to remember the minor details, the order of events or even the emotions.
Brown Bear wanted to know everything, but most importantly, "What is he like ?" and "When can I meet him ?" He knew he was going to meet him later in the week and was impatient for that time to come. It was so hard to sleep that first night. The excitement, the anticipation, the anxiety. What if he decides tomorrow he didn't like us after all ? Is it safe to get close to this little boy if there is any chance it might not work out ?
In the end none of that mattered. I just knew from the minute I saw him that this was our baby boy. That he had to join our family. I finally fell asleep with the joyful memory of his giggles ringing in my ears. Hopefully, they would be in our own home before too long.