Six months ago today, I signed the papers that said, from this day forward, Axel Djordje Spring would forever be my son. Forever. My son.
At the Social Center in Kragujevac, Serbia, Axel stood before a crowd of people who cheered for him. Excited that he had found a forever family. That he was going to America, where his future has no limits. Where he could go to school, make friends, and reach his full potential. In a family. OUR family.
He delighted in everything he saw. He didn't understand the long car ride to the big city, nor the significance of that event. He only knew that things had changed. Some people were gone, and now there was this new woman, and we were living in a beautiful apartment. This must be home!
It was a busy week, chasing papers around the city of Belgrade. A few days later I woke him up at 3:30 a.m to drive to the airport. I watched this video today for the first time since coming home. Axel is SO different now. Clearly not the same little boy.
After being AWAKE for 30+ hours, Axel came through the doors at the Minneapolis/St Paul International Airport where he met his Papa and Angela for the first time.
Our lives are so different now. We had fun before Axel joined us, but now Angela has a partner in crime!
Angela takes VERY good care of her little brother, and is proud of the fact she is the "big sister". She waited a long time for this! She loves to make lunch for him....
Or teach him new things, like how to shovel snow...
Or how to brush hair without pulling...
And how to bake cookies!
She really loves her little brother.
She felt terrible for him when he got his neck brace. (even though she secretly wanted one for herself!)
She makes sure he has everything she does, like sunglasses.
Axel has had so many "firsts" since coming home. Every day we get to see the pure joy that explodes out of him!
We were all worried sick for him when he had his spinal fusion done just 3 1/2 weeks ago.
He was treated like the Serbian prince that he is. Royalty who our family is allowed to rub shoulders with.
So even though we have to deal with this little speed bump in life, we know it will give us many more years with Axel. Years that we get to wake up to this smiling, handsome young man. No longer the shy little boy I met in Serbia. Instead a confident, smart, capable young man who has the world at his finger tips.