Friday, March 2, 2012

On Tuesday, Dakota will be 2 months old, and he’ll have been with us for 7 weeks.  Two weeks ago today, the adoption was finalized.  That sounds like a long time, like I should be settled into fatherhood by now.  Somehow, it all still doesn’t seem real, though.  In the back of my head, there’s this thought that I’m going to wake up one morning and find out that we’ve just been babysitting someone else’s kid for a couple of months, that he’s not really ours.  I assume part of that is how quickly everything happened.  We met Dakota a couple of days after turning in our birthmother letter, and took him home four days after that.  I’ve never heard of an adoption moving that fast.
He is ours, though.  I really am a daddy now.  I think that is the most exciting sentence I can possibly write.  That little boy sleeping in Danielle’s arms is my son!  How cool is that?  He is now a part of my life forever.  I get to hold him and see him smile when I come home from work.  I get to watch him grow, watch him learn to crawl, walk, talk, and all of that stuff.  When he starts teething and is in too much pain to sleep, Danielle and I will lose sleep with him.  I wonder constantly what he will be like.  What will his personality be like in a year, when he starts talking to us?  As he grows up, what kind of things will interest him?  Will he enjoy fishing with his dad?  Will he be a musician?  Will he be a good student?  He’s a little bundle full of potential.
He’s already got so much personality.  He smiles constantly.  He even laughs in his sleep.  He grows so fast.  It is amazing to go back and look at the pictures Danielle took of him the first week he was with us; he was so small and skinny.  He’s so strong, too.  He’s been holding his head up since we got him.  He likes to stand up.  He doesn’t have the balance to stand on his own, but he definitely has the strength.  He even (accidentally) sat up on his own the other day.  He was laying in my arms, starting to squirm because he was hungry, and suddenly, he was sitting up.
I’m very proud of my son, and I don’t think I’ve ever smiled this much in my entire life.  This entire process has been such a blessing.  We’ve been incredibly humbled by all of our friends and family that have generously supported us in so many ways.  Whether it’s been financial support for the adoption, showering Dakota with gifts, bringing us meals while we learned to live with a baby, or just words of encouragement, everything you have done for us has touched us deeply.
In her last post, Danielle talked about Dakota’s birthparents.  We’ve spent some time both with the birthparents, and with the birthfather’s parents.  They are all truly wonderful people.  They chose us to raise Dakota because they thought it was the most loving thing they could do for him.  When we were first considering an open adoption, the idea scared me.  I mean, you never know what the birthparents will be like, and the prospect of blindly agreeing to include them in your life and the life of your child is daunting.  The time we’ve spent with them has really put us at ease.  As Dakota grows up, it will be important for him to know where he came from, to know that his birth family loved him, and that they still do love him.  And it will be important for them to know that he is doing well. 
Who knows what lays ahead for us?  All I know is that I am excited to see what the future holds for Dakota.