"There he is...!"
After four years of D&Cs; and disappointments, we three -- Mom, Dad and big sister Hilary -- greeted the newest member of our family, Spencer Evan Hwan (formerly Kang Kyung Hwan), from Seoul, South Korea on President's Day 1998 at Dulles Airport outside Washington. He was five-and-a-half months old, good-natured -- even after a 17-hour flight -- sporting pink chubby cheeks, shining black eyes and a merry toothless smile. My second baby had come home at last.
It had been a rough four years waiting for this day. The last nine months (how fitting) were spent engulfed in the paperwork and panic known as the adoption process.
But here he was: Our boy. Our son. Home.
We accepted his referral just after Halloween. While awaiting final word on his arrival, I started developing a Website about adopting from Korea. (Some women knit while waiting for their babies to arrive; I build Websites.)
I had spent weeks surfing the Net and found many "meet our new baby" sites, but none told me how to do anything. I wanted to know what the next steps were, what the next set of paperwork looked like and so much more. Adoption is a process that can make control freaks like me totally nuts. So much was out of my hands, and although I wanted and needed reassurance, I didn't want to call and whine at my adoption agency every five minutes either.
For weeks I poured my heart into writing about adoption, rewriting, revising and tweaking into the wee hours. My husband brought my dinner to my office. My daughter wondered what was wrong with Mommy.
I'm expecting a baby, but I don't know when he's coming! That's what's wrong with me!
I'd jump every time the phone rang. I'd cringe with every well-meaning, "Have you heard anything yet?" I added a Spencer's countdown-to-arrival clock to one of the Web pages. "Please God, get him home soon," I prayed daily.
Finally we got word that Spencer was approved to travel. We had about a week's notice. Then the craziness began in earnest. We painted his room. We washed the carpet. I arranged the new Noah's Ark comforter set in his crib. I happily folded the pile of new baby boy clothes we received (why is it that boy clothing is limited to transportation, sports, and jungle animal motifs?) along with a handful of onesies, sleepers and other unisex items I had saved from Hilary's baby days.