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Billy's First Christmas PDF Print E-mail
December 15, 2003 I arrived on Bequia, a tiny island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The next day I took the ferry over to Kingstown on the island of St. Vincent where I went to gain custody of my son. The lawyer gave me the completed adoption paperwork then we drove across town to the Social Service Office. A few minutes later the foster mother handed over my sobbing child and I was an instant Mom! That day will be forever etched in my mind but at the time it was surreal. As for Billy, he was only 20 months old, he didn’t understand what was happening and he was afraid.

 

Billy

We arrived back late on December 22nd. It was a quiet Christmas. I wanted Billy to get used to his new home and the time change. He was waking up in terror up to five times a night so we were both tired. We went out once for brunch on Christmas Day but I had been advised to keep him close to home and I did. The second week home friends began arriving to meet my active bundle of joy. He quickly learned that good things come in colourful packages and a new friend might mean a new toy. I was touched by how many people cared.

My foremost goal for this first year has been to have Billy and I bond to each other. Initially he clung to anyone who hugged him. I knew it was a positive sign of increased security and attachment to me when he no longer went to people he did not know. Overall bonding went smoothly and it has strengthened and deepened over the year. God blessed me by giving me a child whose unique qualities made my nine months of parental leave feel more like a vacation. Billy is active, has an easy going temperament is fun loving and learns quickly. Now that I am back at work the highlight of my day is arriving at the day care to pick him up. He beams as he sees me and comes running with arms outstretched for a big hug.

I love being a Mom. The joys and blessings are greater than I ever imagined. None of my concerns about single parenthood have been realized, however there are some challenges I did not anticipate. I have developed what people affectionately call “Mommy brain”, which means that my memory is no longer as sharp and I need lists. I am not as patient as I thought I was. If I was well rested and had time to contemplate life I might be over analysing the change in some friendships. I am gradually spending more time with other parents of young children. Finding adoptive parents for support was simplified because of three international adoption groups in my area, one for single women who have adopted internationally. All of the events include children.

Billy is 2½ and still doesn’t grasp what Christmas is. He knows that everyone else is excited, so he is excited too. His understanding that Christmas is about decorating the tree, and seeing special people. I am eager to share with him my family traditions and to see his shining eyes when he sees the presents on Christmas morning.

I wish all of you a wonderful Christmas, and if any of you are considering adoption, my advice to you would be “Go for it!”