Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Monday, October 15, 2012

The First Time

The first time I met Axel was April 9th, 2010. Another woman and I had traveled together to Serbia to get information on several children who were said to be registered for international adoption. (We would later find that not only were some of the children not registered for adoption and still had their parental rights intact, but it was illegal for us to have been taking their pictures and posting them on the internet!)

I wasn't in Serbia as an adoptive parent, or even a potential adoptive parent. In fact, Dean wasn't thrilled with the fact I was going on this trip! He left me at the airport having looked me right in the eye saying, "Don't even think about falling in love with some kid. I am NOT adopting!" Famous last words!

We drove by car from Belgrade to the city of Kragujevac. We pulled in in front of a small house and out came this little boy. Now, we had discussed many kids over the course of this trip, and because I had no vested interested in remembering all of the information on every single one, I thought this was a four year old we were going to visit. "Wow, he's tall for four!" I said.

My traveling companion quickly replied, "Four? He's NINE!"

"I take that back. He's TINY for nine!"
Meeting Djorjde for the first time!

His name was Djordje (translates to George) and other than being very tiny, he didn't look like he had Down syndrome. "Has he had a chromosome test? Maybe he has a different syndrome." We played with him for about an hour. He was a fun little guy; very social and eager to be in front of the camera. He was quite the little show off! He wasn't talking at all but his social workers really didn't know why. Our visit ended and we left.

Over the next few days Dean and I discussed the possibility of adopting a little girl I'd met our first day in Serbia. The man who wanted nothing to do with adoption was smitten. ;-) We ended up getting stuck in Bulgaria due to the Icelandic volcano, which gave Dean more time to contemplate this decision. By the time I arrived home he was ready.

We began the paper process in July 2010. By September we knew the little girl we'd hoped to adopt was one of the children not legally available for adoption. We thought about who was  next most at risk, the ages of the children, etc. Angela was 14 at the time and we knew we weren't prepared to bring a toddler or younger into the house. Since I had met Djordje we decided he would be a good match for our family. Well, Dean was always a little worried about the "what ifs" more than I, since he hadn't met him.

On Weds, December 1st 2010, I once again found myself pulling into the driveway of a tiny house in the middle of Serbia. (You can go here to see pictures of that day.)

Sixteen days later Axel and I arrived home and he got to meet his new Papa and sister Angela for the first time.

1 comment:

The Sumulong 3 said...

I love his face when he starts playing with balloons! And my goodness, when he gives Dean a hug and a kiss, I had tears running down my face. What a sweet homecoming for Axel!