Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Day We Came Home...

"Hold on - before we walk out there, let's pray - the four of us."

So we stood before a gracious God, and thanked Him.  This was it.  The journey had come full circle.

Carter was home.

I remember like it was yesterday - hugging Niko, as he said "now - give some hug and some kiss, and go be a family".  Waiting in the airport in Kiev, knowing it would be the last time that our feet would touch the ground of Carters homeland for a very, very long time.  Wishing we could stay, but knowing it was time to leave.  Even today, my heart aches for Ukraine.  But this is for another post....

Walking around the Frankfurt airport with a screaming 3 year old - who was not yet able to be comforted by his mothers soothing touch.  For hours - I walked.  I walked, I prayed, I cried - with a screaming stranger in my baby carrier.

Sitting.  So much sitting on that long flight back to the states.  Nobody slept.  Not even Carter.  He didn't make a peep.  He sat.  He ate.  That was it.

Fluffing hair and changing outfits in Chicago, preparing for our very special, long-awaited flight home to Appleton.

Then - all of a sudden, we were home.  The feeling was indescribable and even one year later, my words fall so short.  The village welcomed us home.  They welcomed us from one chapter of our lives into the next.  Carter walked, and as we swung him in the air, he laughed his best laugh.

A year has come and gone.  365 days.  How did this happen?

Today, Carter is home in every sense of the word.  He is at home in our family.  In our arms.  One year ago, he didn't know the meaning of 'home'.  Today, he knows.

I will be honest.  Year One = hard.  Adoption is not easy.  Anyone who says so is lying.  Attachment is hard, and most people don't understand it.  Disciplining a 3 year old who has lived in three small rooms for his entire life is hard.  Loving a child who doesn't know how to be loved is hard.  Did I ever think I would have to teach my 3 year old how to be held by his mother?  Where to put his arms, and how to wrap his legs?  No.  But we did.  If you had told us that we would need to teach this boy how to get silly and wrestle with his daddy, we would have thought you were crazy.  Because every kid should know that.  Guess what?  Kids who are raised in orphanages don't know much of anything about having fun.  So we've taught him.  And along the way - he's taught us.

We have so much to learn.

Adoption is not easy.  But I'll tell you what it is.
Adoption is a blessing. The biggest, most beautiful blessing.  Yes, even when it's hard.
Adoption is choosing to love.  In the beginning it's hard, but we choose love every day.
Adoption is freedom.  Freedom to love and be loved.

REDEEM: to buy back; to free from what distresses or harms; to free from captivity by payment of ransom; to help to overcome something detrimental; to change for the better; repair; restore

Adoption is redemption.
Adoption is redemption.

I still stand amazed as I think about where Carter would be, had God not rescued him.  Look what God did.  Look how He makes all things new.

And then, the more I think - the more I feel like this 'adopted boy' is just our son.  He's just ours.  He's a Gibson.  Adoption will always be a part of him - and we will always celebrate that.  But more than anything - he's just our son.  Plain & simple.

Last night, Jake was at church and I decided to snuggle Carter to sleep.  This is something we haven't done in many months, but it was a special night - and I wanted him close to me.  So I held him, and maybe cried a little, and tried to muster a holy prayer - and all I could come up with was 'Thank you.  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU....'.  What a gift we have been given.  What a blessing.  We are undeserving in every way...


If you're still reading along with this 'One Year Ago' series - I thank you.  This is the end.  Because there's nothing more to say.  He's home.  Right where he belongs.

If you'd like to read my post from one year ago, you can see it here.

One Thing I Know For Sure: "God sets the lonely in families...." Psalm 68:6a


  1. Oh how I am bawling... You put the words in my heart right on your blog. How do you do that? Cooper has been home 4 months tomorrow and I cannot help but think that without your blog...your video...without Carter... Cooper may still be without a family. We would be without him. I cannot imagine life without him. So, so thankful that you were obedient and that you share your thoughts. Congrats on 1 year home...enjoy many, many years to come. <3

  2. so so beautiful. thank you for sharing your year long posts, i cant believe ive been following you all over a year.. love can work miracles along with Him


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