Day 2

They talk about falling in love with your child, but nothing can prepare you for the immediacy.  From those first magical sparks to the ocean depths of love- it takes only hours.  Yesterday I dove off the cliff and today I hit the ocean.

When we got to the baby house our little man was getting dressed to go outside. His "class" of eight or so other children were going to the park, so they all came out of the baby house together.  We stood scanning the group until there he came out from behind a stroller.  His nanny walked him over to us and he began to cry.  Although it might seem strange to be happy over your little one's tears, his tears are a wonderful sign to us of his healthy development, his attachment to his nannies, and his desire for a consistent routine (like any toddler!).  I cherish this opportunity to be the one who soothes his fears.  I take out a yellow squishy ball I brought for him to play with.  He is memorized.  His cry turns to a whimper and soon his tears are gone.  

Our translator motions for us to follow her to the playgrounds.  There are six or seven playgrounds on the property; each class of 8-10 children has their own.  The play structures are so happy; mostly wooden, brightly painted, and well maintained.  The one we use has a slide, two swings, two sea-saws, a merry-go-round type contraption, a sandbox, and a little house filled with toys.  Tall white birch trees shade most of the site.  The ground beneath our feet is made of sand and tiny pebbles which our little man loves to pick up and throw.  I wonder aloud to John if he is allowed to do that when his nannies are around.  We let him do it anyway. 

I have carried him from the baby house to the playground.  At first he does not leave my side.  He plays gingerly with a set of stacking blocks and the squishy yellow ball we brought.  John and I fumble through our phrase book and say things in Russian like what's that?, truck!, and ball!

When he seems comfortable having us around I say his name and start kissing his cheeks.  He cracks a smile.  I pick him up and kiss his cheeks, his eyes, his nose, his head.  He giggles all the while. 

 John wants a turn.  I put our little man on the ground and John crouches down to give him a tender squeeze.  When that goes well John picks him up and lifts him as high into the air as he can.  Our little man is grinning ear-to-ear.  John rinses and repeats until his arms can't do it any more. 

When he comes down for the last time, our little man gives a contented sigh and snuggles into his papa's shoulder.  

We are completely smitten and our little man is now smitten with us.  He trucks around the playground laughing.  His laugh is low and quiet and like the waves of deep love washing over us.  He climbs on the slide and throws his stacking cups down to John, one by one.  We wonder again if he is allowed to do that with his nannies.  And again- we let him do it anyway.  

Every so often in the midst of our play we scoop him up and huddle, the three of us.  I put my hand on my heart and say, "Mama."  I reach across to touch John and say, "Papa."  I put my hand on our little man and say his name.  He gets very quiet when we do this and stares intently into our faces.  Another wave of love sweeps over me as I watch him process the idea that we will be a family.

We play for two hours together: sliding, see-saw-ing, tricycle-ing and just general trucking around.  Toward the end I have him in my arms and he is playing with my necklace.  It is my little shoe necklace, which my parents bought 15 years ago, saving it for the mother of their first grandchild.  He pulls it right off and breaks the chain.  I think to myself that I don't even care; I've been wearing it while I wait for him and in this moment, I'm not waiting any more.

When our play time is done and it is time for him to go back inside, I pick him up and carry him to the baby house.  He sits on my hip with his head on my shoulder and a smile on his face.  I think to myself that he was meant for that spot.

With every step back to the baby house a wave of love washes over me.  I want to walk slower.  I look into his eyes and try to tell him that we will be back tomorrow.  Already I cannot bear to think of leaving him on Friday.  I pray for the strength of the Spirit to sturdy my heart and wrap around our boy.

Two more visits.  Four more hours to swim in this ocean of love.

I have never been so happy.



  1. I was fine until I saw the picture of your husband lifting him up in the air...then the waterworks started! What a cutie!

  2. Oh my goodness, he is going to be SO handsome! Watch out, American girls!

  3. Anonymous7/25/2012

    What a beautiful child. It's amazing you've captured this for him to read when he is older. A great start to your life together. Congratulations!

  4. goodness I can't get throught these without tears. So happy for ya'll and love, love, love how he just snuggles and laughs with you both! So sweet!

  5. New follower here. :) Just wanted to say that I am totally enjoying your posts, and I'm very excited to see this adoption unfold. Can't imagine what Friday will be like for you guys! :(

  6. Seriously - should not read this at work - Cry at work is not professional!!! lol. Thanks for sharing your heart with us and your journey.

  7. ok-your blogs are ruining my make up in the best way!! :'-) Love all the pics and that you guys are having such wonderful visits!!

  8. Hi Jillian - I went to high school with John and am just recently catching up with your journey. Your account of meeting your little boy is truly amazing and, like the comments say, definitely bring tears of happiness to my eyes. :) Praying for the rest of your visit!

  9. Anonymous7/25/2012

    I am loving your posts about your trip! As much as I'm praising the Lord for how well things are going so far, I'm praying for strength for Friday... I can't even imagine how hard that's going to be. You are already an amazing mom! :)

  10. I can't come to this site without a good, peaceful, refreshing cry of Praise. Such beautiful pictures. Such a beautiful family. So much love. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Your family is in my prayers.

  11. I LOVE seeing him in your arms FINALLY! Praying God prepares you for Friday and enables you to soak in every blessed minute of time with your boy until then.

  12. So beautiful!!!! I love it!!

  13. So beautiful!!!! I love it!!

  14. Wow. This is absolutely amazing Jill. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Tears, tears, tears.
    He is BEAUTIFUL!

  16. Anonymous9/05/2012

    When I first saw the title of your blog I was kind of threw off by the adding a Burden until I read and realized that was your last name...lol.Your story is very touching and I want to say thanks from someone who knows the joys and challenges of adoption.We have 2 children thru domestic adoption and 3 born to us and are also raising our Godson and are in the beginning stages of international adoption we are excited and scared about the financial end of it but we know God will guide us through and reading your blog has been helpful also.Thanks for sharing your story and may God continue to pour his blessings out on your family!Angela Patrick my email is [email protected]

  17. Anonymous1/25/2013

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  18. Anonymous4/30/2013

    I cannot thank you enough for sharing your journey with such clarity and peace. I came across your maternity adoption photos on pintest while searching for infertility support. My husband and I have been trying for 15 cycles, 2 of which were with medical support (IUI) and we've been discussing adoption. Your blog is incredibly helpful, I honestly cannot express the gratitude I have. Thank you and God bless you!


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