I remember so vividly that moment when I was walking down the exit terminal on May 5th, 2012, and my eyes found Michael's. I wanted to run into his arms, honestly, because of the emotional rollercoaster that had ensued the previous several hours with flight delays, an extra overnight trip in San Francisco, a seizure on our departure day from Korea (complete with an ambulance ride and experience in an ER in Korea). But, I was also overwhelmed by the moment when Michael first met our son and we were all together, a family of 3. The several weeks that followed were HARD. As Taylor grieved the loss of a wonderful foster family, he began bonding with us and learning to trust us as his parents. I remember, when we were home about 3-4 weeks, when I felt like it just clicked. It did not become magically easier, but something happened that made me believe that this amazing little guy was finally starting to understand and trust that we were his mom and dad. We were looking at photo albums on the dining area of our apartment (let's just be honest, he was pulling books off of the shelves) and ended up pulling out our wedding album.
Let me back up...when I met Taylor's foster family while in Korea, they told me that they were referring to us as mommy and daddy, so, naturally, we called ourselves mommy and daddy as we were trying to teach him who we were. We also thought it would help him differentiate between us and his foster family during talks with him. Okay, back to the story...
I began finding pictures of us in the wedding album and pointing to them, asking, "Who is this?" As I pointed to one picture of myself, Taylor looked at me and said, "Umma." I pointed to a picture of Michael, and Taylor responded, "Appa." I could tell by the satisfied look on his face and the deep intent in his expression that he GOT it. He did not understand what all of this mommy/daddy business was about, but he knew what an umma/appa were and knew that we were his. I melted. "Yes, buddy, we are forever your Umma and Appa." I am not sure when/if he will ever begin to refer to us as mom/dad (he knows what this means now and understands we are his mom and dad), but I fondly remember the moment he knew he was ours and we were his, a family forever.
Isn't this what happens when our heavenly Father adopts us? There is no worrying about being placed in another family or being un-adopted if we do not follow all of the rules. He loves us, as His children, unconditionally and eternally. I am so grateful that God gave us the opportunity to see a glimpse of His love for us. As I am overwhelmed with love for this sweet 4 year old, I sense Abba whispering to me, "This is how I love you, and so much more than this. Trust me constantly with your heart and life." Taylor Won Murry, you are such as abundant blessing to us, and we are delighted always to be your Appa and Umma!