The date has been set. Max will arrive on US soil for a 3 week visit on the 19th. Just 13 short days away. So much has changed for all of us, I'm anxious to see how it all works out.
This time around, we have two small daughters at home. Last time he was here, he was our only "child". This time around, he has four cousins- last time Nathan was just a toddler. This time around all our friends have kids--Jen/Billy have three, Jared/Bethany have 1, and Erin/Colin have a baby. Wow-last time, he was the ONLY one! This time around he's a teenager. (OY!) Last time, he was a cuddly little boy--wanting to play in the bathtub, wear clothes with characters on them, and pretend play. This time around, he may have hit puberty. (I hadn't even thought of this one until my husband mentioned it--Thanks Doug!) This time around he is the only one visiting. Last time around he was one of a big crew. (Almost all of his friends have been adopted!) This time around we send him back with a future unknown. Last time around we sent him on a plane thinking we would be bringing him home in a few short months. This time around, we can offer him love, support, and family time.
I'm nervous, I'm anxious. I'm excited, I'm worried. I'm hopeful and I'm doubtful. I wonder if he feels the same.
He knows about the girls, and the cousins. He's anxious to sleep in his own bed. (He told me numerous times on the phone over the summer). When he didn't come home in 2007, we needed a crib, not bunk beds. The bunk beds were a reminder of what wasn't. We stored the beds. Then Nathan slept in one. Katie had one. Now Hannah and Mila sleep in them. There will be a bed for him. It's not the one he slept in last time, but I hope just being back in his bedroom will make him feel at home. Some of his toys are still here, but others we donated or gave to friends who had boys. I hope he understands.
Doug will be making the trek to New York to get him off a plane and drive him home. It's a long drive, but a cheaper option than one of us purchasing two round trip tickets to get us to and from New York.
No doubt, this time around there will be lots of laughter and love shared. I can't wait to wrap my arms around my son. I have missed him so much!