The first day I met Ian I knew that for the rest of my life I would call him son. There was something in the way he looked at me it was as if he knew what I felt as well. It was just as an infant gazes into his momma's eyes shortly after birth. It is the look of peace and belonging, safety and security a pureness that can't be touched. The difference with Ian was that he was not an infant snuggling up to my breast, he was three years old and looking up at me from a stark orphanage floor.
We met him on July 23, 2001 at 10:00am at the Antoshka Home for Children. The orphanage was neatly kept but rather worn down and dark. It is not somewhere that you would think children lived. There was not much for the children to do or play with so we mainly walked the grounds with him. He would find the most interesting things to amuse himself with and Jim and I would often find ourselves competing with scraps of paper or pieces of fuzz for his attention. We visited with Ian twice a day everyday for a week. Around day three we noticed a bounce in his step, his shoulders seem to be back and his gorgous little face was up and proud. He would come running to us, taking our hands in his. They tell us " He has become more independent since you have been visiting and he waits by the window everyday looking for you."
Our process went rather smooth regarding all of the legal documents and court hearing. The judge congratulated us on July 31, 2001 and gave us permission to adopt Ian and to take him home. The ususal 30 day waiting period was waived and we were allowed to begin our journey home. We have been home now three years and Ian is doing wonderful. He is in Kindergarten, likes bugs and cars, mud and snow. He likes to ride his bike and his powerwheels, he enjoys anything with SpiderMan or Dinosaurs and has a very funny personality. He must sleep with his "blue" which is a little blue baby blanket we came home with and he also must have his nightlight on. He loves "peanut budder and jelly" sandwhiches which must NOT have jelly on them! :) He likes hot sauce on everything and will not look at a potato (would you if you ate them everyday for 3 years?) and only eats Filet Mignon steak. It is amazing to watch this little boy grow up and think back to where he began. There are still a few reminders and remnents of his life at Antoshka that follow him but for the most part this little boy is a miracle and a true testament that love is the most important nourishment we all need. I can't imagine my life without him and I am so glad to know that for the rest of his life he will call me mom.