Today is our Family Day.

If the adoption process replaces the pregnancy for us adoptive moms, Family Day is our giving birth.

2 years ago today is when I met Ben for the first time.

We went to John & Diane’s home and Ben was there, bubbling away happily on his playmat. Little I knew he was a big boy, and my fear of picking him up and “breaking him somehow” was unfounded! He was not even 6 months old.

That day started with a long meeting with Social Workers and the foster family. When a child is placed with you, however much you feel he’s your baby, he’s not yet. You need to sort out all the details on what needs to be done, how and when. You also plan your introduction period and other trivialities.

For months after we took Ben home, I kept pinned on my fridge all the emergency numbers: social workers on duty, emergency support, head of adoption, and so, so many others. And if I had to come clean, those numbers are all still there. I never knew when it was OK to put them away.

It was such a strange feeling: we had a baby in our family that we considered ours, but wasn’t. We had to tell our Social Worker everything about our days together: playing at playgroup, meeting with the health visitor, and God knows how many times I have been reminded that before getting him a haircut, I had to ask for permission.

The Adoption Court Order came much later (9 months later to be precise) but that boy was my son from the first day I saw him 2 years ago today… and probably even a bit before then.

For some reason, many other important dates are not as important for me as the 16th of July: not his birthday, not the Celebration Day, not the day in which we took him home.

For me, we as a family started the day we met.

So, happy family day to my son, my husband, and to me too. I hope today will remain a day for celebration, even when Ben will be old enough to understand adoption and all that happened in his life.

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