Today, I got to experience the joy of adoption from a brand new perspective! You would think that I'm so used to adoption that there wouldn't be any new way to experience it, but wow, was today different!
Since the kids were getting adjusted to new lives, learning a new language, and it was freezing cold in the middle of winter, there were no family get-togethers or anything for the whole extended family to meet the kids. But now that it's nice out, school is ending, and we're on a timeline with our impending move, my mom's cousin decided to take the drive up and meet with our family and just a few other family members. His wife stayed home with the two youngest kids, but he brought the three oldest, and the whole hour-long drive down to meet up with them, I couldn't help but feel butterflies.
I was so excited to meet my new cousins, even though the oldest is eight years younger than me. I didn't know if we'd have anything to talk about, or if they would hang out with my siblings and not really talk to me. I didn't know if they would be shy or outgoing, have fun personalities or sit around and stare at us, and I wasn't even sure how good their English was at this point. I had no idea about anything because before today, they were just complete strangers who had been adopted by family members. I knew nothing about them, but I could't wait to hug them all and welcome them into the family with open arms.
My family has been through the adoption process five times. I should be totally used to it by now. But I have never been on this end of it, preparing to meet new family members who were just adopted and are just still learning about our whole crazy family. I had never felt like this before, and I couldn't help but wonder if the rest of our family felt like this whenever they were meeting one of my new siblings. But at the same time, it was different; whenever I got a new sibling, we didn't know if they would be staying forever. Meeting our new cousins today, we already knew that they were part of the family for life, whether they were happy about the mess of nut jobs they were being stuck with or not! It was so amazing to finally meet the kids and really feel like family. Of course we had seen plenty of pictures and knew all of their names, but now we actually got to hug them and talk to them, and it was suddenly real. It was incredible! I'm so glad that we got to welcome them to the family in person finally. Now I just can't wait to meet their little brother and sister and get a picture with the whole family all together... it's great having five new cousins in the family!
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