How did welcoming Sawyer go as expected / unexpected?
Welcoming Sawyer into our family was THE most joyous time in our lives and one of the most heartbreaking of times. There are no words to express the amount of love that filled our hearts knowing that we FINALLY were able to pick Sawyer up and bring him home with us. But with that love also came heartache. Our hearts ached knowing that we were taking Sawyer away from the only life he knew. Away from the only loving foster family he grew up in, away from the country he was born into, away from all that he was learned and taken in as an infant: the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and touches of his home country.
As much as we anticipated and played out how happy this day would be for us, it was truly the most happiest and hardest days of our lives. Gotcha day with Sawyer went smoothly at the adoption centre as the transition and goodbyes were fast. It was very emotional but with the goodbyes kept brief, and the taxi waiting downstairs to whisk us away, we weren’t left with any time to really feel everything and process all that was going on, especially our little Sawyer. We knew from the courses we took, and what we can imagine how a child may act being in a new environment with people he has only met a few times, but this experience was like no other. We fell in love with Sawyer the moment we were matched with him. That love only grew when we met him the few times before we were able to pick him up.
But we were still strangers to Sawyer and the grieving that Sawyer endured the first few days after picking him up was so incredibly heartbreaking and sad. Of course we expected that would happen, but actually experiencing the grieving and the loss was something unimaginable. It is something that breaks my heart and brings me to tears every single time I think about those days or talk about it with others- that was unexpected.
In addition to the unexpected, was how quickly Sawyer adjusted and transitioned into our home and life. Covid-19 negatively affected so many lives, but for us, we think it was the quarantine period where it was only the three of us all day, every moment for 14 days straight that helped us build that bond and attachment with Sawyer. It has only been 6 months, and so far he has done remarkably well with adjusting to his new life with us, in his new home, new country and new language.