Monday, September 24, 2012

It takes me back....

When we traveled to Eastern Europe to bring Henry home last August my younger sister gave me a going-away present.

Starbucks Via caramel coffee.

I had never tried it before but she said it was delicious and that I should have a caffeine source readily available in case our crazy travels through Eastern Europe did not allow for regular access to energy-boosting delectable coffee comfort.

I thanked her profusely (she knows me so well!) and tucked the 12 packets deep in my suitcase.

We left on a Tuesday, arrived in the capital on Wednesday, received Henry's referral on Thursday, and traveled 5 hours down to Henry's region to meet him on Friday...

I did not unpack enough to find the Starbucks packs until Monday. On that day our days started to flow in a predictable pattern many adopting families refer to as "Groundhog Day" (in reference to the Bill Murray movie where he re-lives the same day over and over in the same small town with only minor variations).

Wake up. Get ready. Eat.
Visit Henry in orphanage from 9-10am.
Back to rental house.
2 hours.
Lunch at noon.
Visit Henry in orphanage from 1-3pm.
Back to rental house.
Nap. Sometimes food shopping.
Computer contact with home (since we were 8 hours ahead).
Watch a DVD or CNBC.
Go to bed.

Every day.

For 12 days.

We were some of the lucky ones... We had Court the second Tuesday down in Henry's region and I took Henry out of the orphanage the next Friday (Paul had gone home while I was waiting for Henry's passport to be ready).

So 12 days of waiting for Henry.

Remember that "2 hour" slot from the schedule?

Paul and I filled it differently.

He would go for a walk or work on the computer or read... Generally stay busy.

Not me.

For that time I just sat...

clutching that precious mug of caramel coffee from home...

Thinking of my six children at home...

And the one still in the orphanage.

Nursing the comfort of that cup the way I wished I could have nursed Henry...

Breathing deeply its sweet smell the way I would breathe in the soup-y smells of his hair and head...

Drinking deeply of its heady dark flavor the way I spent the morning working to make and keep the gaze of Henry's dark green eyes...

Today Henry turns 2.

Today I made a Starbucks Via caramel coffee.

Today that smell and taste brought me back.

Happy Birthday Henry.

No going back for you my boy.

Only forward...

With a whole family by your side.


  1. Oh the power of Starbucks. hahah Happy birthday sweet boy!

  2. Beautiful story, happy ending! Hooray and happy birthday!

  3. Happy Tears for you, your family and sweet Henry! He won the lottery and such a young age and I think you did too! OXXO can't wait to meet the entire beautiful family! Love Katie

  4. That made me cry!

    I'm going to call that flavor of coffee "Hope"---your story of adoption is so much bigger than you and Henry, so much bigger than even adoption. You are on the spiritual climb my friend.

    I'm going to think about you drinking coffee in Hope--painfully waiting for your family to come together in my own Groundhog Day experiences.

    Love you!

  5. Happy Birthday Henry!