Wow...it's been a while since I posted something. Things have been going so quickly it is crazy. Here's a quick run down:
Ian is now saying: Da-da, Mama, Key (kitty), Lu (one of our dogs), Im (Tim), Hey, Buh (bye).
He is standing up without holding on to anything.
He can take a few small steps, but generally would rather crawl .
He had his first haircut last Sunday (No more curls!)
He can now hold his sippy cup and prefers to do it himself.
Plans for his 1st birthday are well underway. We have decided to do a rubber ducky theme. Ian loves ducks and has since he was born. So, we have a ducky cake, blue/yellow/white table cloths-balloons-plates-silverware, his old ducky bathtub as a cooler, and a cute rubber ducky birthday banner. I am going to do chips and snacks in pails like you would have at the beach. We'll also have blue punch with ducks in it. It has been fun planning, but at the same time a bit sad. I can't believe how fast this first year has gone by. Already I have trouble remembering what our life was like before he was here. It just seems like my heart would have been so empty without him.
As his birthday gets closer, I am hit more and more each day with how blessed we are. Don't get me wrong, we have known since day one we were blessed. I think that in the hustle and bustle of having a newborn I often overlooked how blessed we are. Our adoption journey to Ian was amazingly simple and short. We took the classes in December, got approved in April, met Ian's birthmother in May, and Ian was born in September. Start to finish the process was exactly 9 months. God is SO amazing! He had Ian's life all mapped out and put everything exactly where it needed to be for Ian to make it to us. The thought of it gives me chills. I thank God everyday for Ian and for his birthmother.
That brings me to another thought.... I am in awe of Ian's birthmother to this day. At the age of 17, she made the most selfless and giving decision she could make as a mother- she chose to 1) Give her child life and 2)To give her child a better life. This is nothing short of heroic to me. She felt she couldn't offer Ian the life she wanted for him, so she worked hard to find people who could. Drew and I are humbled and thankful for her chosing us everyday. I hold a piece of her heart in my arms each day when I hold my son. It isn't something that I take lightly. Drew and I have always said that we will be upfront and honest with Ian about his adoption. We use the word all the time now because we don't want it to ever appear taboo to him. When the time comes, we will explain everything to him. We intend to tell him that this was the ultimate act of love on his birthmother's behalf. She put his life and happiness before hers in every choice she made. She has stayed firm in her convictions that this was the right thing to do and we stand firm in our agreement.
We do have an open adoption. Right now we send pictures two times a year, visit 2 times a year, and she can call us anytime. We allow her to send gifts and write him letters. I am saving all the letters she sends him in a scrap book. It's important that he have those one day. Our agreement is only valid until he turns 3. At that point we have to evaluate how it is effecting him. We get a lot of concern from family and friends that this is a bad plan. We are told we shouldn't have visits at all (even now) because it will only confuse him later. I couldnt disagree more. Surely it would be confusing to a child who doesn't know this life to be sat down one day and told, "We are not your biologicial parents...." Telling him from day 1 and exposing him makes this his normal. We always have, and will continue to, put Ian first, as does his birthmother. If we ever feel it is too much for him, we will change how we handle it. Until then, this is our life. And we love it.