Today was Almost Different
Today is January 13, 2014.
A month ago, this very day was a viewed as a burden. A deadline. A day that was coming too soon.
A month ago, we were anxious. Uncertain. We were calling anybody that we could. Not always finding a listening ear. We still needed so much to happen. We needed a visa application to be approved. We needed the approval to travel. We needed an embassy appointment. We needed to buy airline tickets. And it was all out of our hands.
For one boy, today was viewed as a harbinger of what the rest of his life would look like. A life without a family. A life always being known as an orphan. Always using the phrase “foster” before the word mother or brother or sister. And the word father was never used.
For one boy, today only offered a change in labels. Yesterday he would have been considered eligible for adoption. Today ineligible. In the eyes of the law of China, he would never have another chance.
For one boy, who happened to have been born 14 years ago, today was the day he would have to move on. He would have to face the rest of life alone.
For one boy, today was too late.
No doubt they would let him remain in the system until he was old enough to manage by himself. They would continue to provide shelter and food and clothing. But the day when they would open the door and wave good bye would have been fast approaching. Too fast.
But today isn’t that day. Today is different than what it could have been. It is different than what seemed inevitable.
Today is his birthday. And as it should be for every 14 year old, the only thing that needs to be done is to celebrate him.
It is a day to enjoy with his new forever family. A day to be with those who will be with him for the rest of his life. A day to be hugged by those who will always have open arms.
Today he celebrates along side of those who will love him forever.
And to think, this day was almost different for him. Almost.
Regardless of what happens next, regardless of what his 18th or his 25th or his 40th birthday looks like, we will never regret having said yes so that today could be as it is.
We want to thank everyone who played a role in making today possible. Laura and Mary and Ming at Adoption Associates, Inc. Our social worker. Countless people in China whose names we will never know.
Our son may never know you or know what role you played in making today different. But you did. Without you today would have been very different than what it is.
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