The first day that we had Ivan in our physical custody was crazy and emotional and draining for everyone involved. We had a long ride in the car, a changing of clothes in a public bathroom because I misjudged the absorbency of Bulgarian diapers, a very public very dramatic very scary meltdown of truly epic proportions, a scrambled mess of dinner, a screaming shower, and hours of screaming, rocking and thrashing at bedtime.
It was a magical, awesome, horrific day.
That night, amid the hours of screaming, rocking, and thrashing, I held Ivan. I held him facing me, chest pressed to mine, and wrapped my arms around him and rocked with him and cried with him. We were all exhausted. We were all emotional and, to be brutally honest, we were all scared.
I remember talking to him. Mostly, it was just me saying anything to try and comfort him. I used the three Bulgarian words I knew and mixed them with every English word I know trying to calm us both. I can't remember anything I said that night except one thought:
I'm sorry it took us so long to come and get you and I'm sorry we needed to come at all.
Even now, months later, I can't think of a better way to sum up how I feel about Ivan's time spent as an orphan.
I'm sorry he spent nearly 5 years as an orphan in an orphanage. I'm sorry he was 3 before we found him. I'm sorry he was almost 5 before we could get him home. I hate it that we were so slow getting to him.
And I'm sorry we even needed to come. I'm sorry he was left to be raised at the orphanage. I'm sorry the doctor's misdiagnosed him. That may have tipped the decision to abandon him. It definitely influenced his treatment in the orphanage. I'm sorry his birth family couldn't raise him in his own culture and I'll never know why they made that choice.
All those things that are completely out of my control.