As some of you already know I am in the process of adopting a teenage boy. His name is Robert he goes by Bob. I gave him a computer made adoption certificate for Christmas last year, 2011. He was very surprised to know that I loved him that much to call him my son.
We went rounds on choosing his name. At first he wanted to change it to Vincent Valintine, (yes I know the spelling is not like what we are used to seeing, but that is how he wanted to spell it). I asked him why that name and all he could (or wanted to) tell me was that he liked it. Later it turns out it was a characters name from Final Fantasy.
The paperwork was coming due soon and he needed to pick a name so we could file for the new birth certificate. I told him that my dad's and brother's middle name was Douglas and that if I were to have a son his middle name would be Douglas also. He agreed to liking this name.
Choosing a name can be very exciting but at the same time, very grueling. What do I want people to call me from now on? What if later I decide I don't like it? I can change it but it's a bit of a hassle. Here is what he finally decided on. Robert James-Douglas MacArthur. I like it! So does he.
The day is almost here for our court hearing. I am nervous and very excited. I have asked a couple of mom's what it feels like to be a mom. The women I have talked to mostly give me the day to day stuff that I am already dealing with. It's hard work! It's a lot of giving with less getting until they get much older. The chores are plentiful. etc. etc.
What I wanted to know was what does it FEEL like? What is the amount of love you feel for your child that you could not duplicate?
I figured I probably already have it and here is why I think so. Bob is in the Sea Cadet program. He joined in March of 2011. Right from the start they (I was included in this) began their physical training to get them ready for "Boot Camp". Now this boot camp is not as long as the military's boot camp, but it takes place on the same base in Chicago. He had to work very hard and there was a lot of nudging on my part to help him get his book work done so he could go. After many months of training and "nudging." he was finally ready.
He was gone for 10 days. It was harder than I thought it would be. It wasn't that I just missed him because now I had to do the dishes every night, but just missed having him around. I had other family members send him cards and letters everyday he was gone. So every time mail call came around he got something even on his first day.
We drove down on the night before his boot camp graduation. I was very excited to see this ceremony. I love it when he wears his dress whites. The room was large, bigger than a gymnasium. There were world flags hanging from the 50' ceiling. There were wall to wall bleachers on one side and 3 large garage doors on the other. Their large green duffle bags were stacked at the ends of the building.
We got seated in our bleachers where Bob unti would be standing right in front of us. The cadets would all march in through those garage doors, in front of us then line up in their formations. Once the doors opened and the sunlight came through my heart skipped a beat and tears began to well up. We could see groups of cadets standing in formation just outside the door on the sidewalks. It was very exciting.
The music began and we all stood up while they marched in. The tears streamed down my face as the many groups marched by us. There were six groups in all. All dressed up in their dress white uniforms led by the color guard for each group.
With all their heads shaved and them wearing the same uniform we could not find him. There were many announcements as there always are at large ceremonies like this, and I remember wanting this to hurry and be over so I could find him and give him a big hug. It wasn't until they were dismissed and told to go and get their bags that I saw him. Tears began again and a large smile beamed across my face. "There he is." I shouted. "BOB!" He turned around and from across this large room I could see his huge smile upon his face.
That is what being a mom feels like. From when they lose their first tooth, to riding their first two wheeler, to graduating from school or in this case boot camp, I felt more like a mom on this day than ever before in my life. Biological or not he's my son and I am his mom.
Our adoption is final tomorrow May 23rd 2012, as per the law, but it was final on this day back in 2011 when I had this feeling that he was already my son. Please join me in welcoming my son Robert James-Douglas MacArthur to my family!