A New Chapter Titled “Mom”

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It’s hard to believe how much my life has changed in just one month.

Gone are the days of Netflix binges, cooking dinner only when I felt like it, and having a clean house.

Welcome to the days of dragging kids out of bed in the morning, walking in 15-degree weather to school bus stops, and negotiating bedtimes like an auctioneer.

Suffice it to say, I’ve never been happier.

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My heart is bursting.

My cup overflows.

My quiver is… Nah. I always hated that metaphor.

On January 17, I walked into a Colombian orphanage to meet my children. We hugged. We smiled. It was amazing (and maybe awkward). Then I took them to live with me in a hotel while the adoption process was finalized. The abrupt adjustment had its moments of joy and its moments of frustration.

I treasured the moments of laughter — playing card games, going on long walks, chasing furry friends at the dog park, reading stories before bedtime.

Yet I cried myself to sleep a few nights. I was dealing with at-times rough attitudes, stern opinions, harsh words, behavior issues. The environment didn’t lend itself to having a schedule or any semblance of “normal.” I longed to start our life together in our new home — in America.

Still we waited. For medical appointments. For caseworker meetings. For court proceedings. For immigration paperwork. All scattered between sitting in waiting rooms and sitting in taxis for hours in horrific Bogota traffic. It wasn’t easy, especially on the kids. And, frankly, I was lonely.

Our legal representative was a rockstar. She championed our cause, and we finished the entire process in only 2.5 weeks (originally expecting 4-6 weeks). God clearly heard and answered the cries of my vast team of prayer warriors. Thank you.

One plane flight later, we landed in New Jersey, met with open arms by my parents — my kids’ “abuelos.” Everyone was excited. I was relieved.

Meet my daughter, Xiomara (pronounced See-o-mara; the nickname “CeCe” is growing on her, thanks to Tia Esther). She is 12 years old. She loves art, music, animals, and asking me for things she’s too young to have (cell phone, make-up, heels). Her favorite food is beans and rice.

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Meet my son, Brayan (pronounced Brian). He is 9 years old. He loves all things sports, Minions, Legos, and playing Chopsticks for hours on the piano (Lord, have mercy). His favorite food is beans and rice.

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Guys.

Are you sensing a pattern?

Beans and rice.

All day.

E’ry day.

And here we are, a couple weeks later, settled into our new normal. My children have proven to me they are the bravest kids in the world. They are both in school, taking the school bus, attending church, making friends, and learning new things every day — all while speaking only a few words of English. I’m so proud of them!

School is closed today for the holiday. I have these few minutes to write because each of them has a school friend over for a play day. The house is alive with the echoes of their laughter and a mash-up of Spanish-English chit chat.

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Being a mom is a beautiful, difficult thing. Being an insta-mom of two older children with tough starts in life has its unique challenges. But it also has its unique joys. And for that, I am forever grateful.

Motherhood is a privilege.

Adoption is wonderful.

I am blessed.

And I’ll never get tired of hearing them call me Mom.

~Ruth