During National Adoption Awareness Month, I will introduce you to numerous guest bloggers, highlighting many parts of the adoption journey. I picked up Lisa Jacuzzo on Instagram. Pretty much – I caught one of her posts, loved what she was selling, bought what she was selling and then asked her to blog for me. She agreed and here it is! But seriously, click on her link at the bottom. Her stuff is great…and so is her story. I hope you enjoy.
It intrigues me how there is that one specific, life-altering moment in your life that becomes forever crystallized in your memory so clearly and transcends all others. For me, that moment was nearly 13 and a half years ago when I first held my son in my arms. That day is forever etched in my mind, in my soul, and in my heart – more than any other day in my life.
My son is the single most wondrous gift in my life. I often reflect on the miracle of us finding each other- thousands of miles apart. Yet, our lives have come together and we enjoy a bond and connection that is truly inexplicable. Although I’m a single mom, I did not travel on this journey of adoption alone, far from it. It is never lost on me all the incredible people who traveled with us, prior to and during the adoption process who gently guided my son and I together- all for the love of a child: my friends, family, co-workers, clients, social worker,case worker, attorney, translator, doctor, notaries, county clerk staff, local adoption coordinator, local and state law enforcement officials, all those behind the scenes that I will never know, and most importantly, my son’s birth family and foster family.
It’s fair to say the array of highs and lows on the roller-coaster ride through the adoption process took me off guard. When I began this journey, you might say I had on a nice pair of rose colored glasses but soon discovered those glasses needed to come off, and in a hurry. Not only was I not prepared, as I thought I was, for the endless, and I mean endless, paper trail process and the complexity of authenticating the paperwork, but I was struck by the “out-of-the-blue” emotions that would surface and take me by surprise. These were the times I learned to lean on my family and friends for support to help me stay on course. It surprised me to find how much I also needed the support and guidance of my social worker and caseworker. They had traveled this path many, many times and were there to pick me up with a call when things did not look promising or a good swift kick when needed when I felt discouraged. I learned to accept the help and accept the reality that this process was not easy or simple, but oh so worth the travel. It is never lost on me the trauma present for the birth family and most importantly my son – it is a loss for him that cannot be chatted away or forgotten – it is a part of his journey – his fabric. I am forever grateful to the many hearts along this journey who helped us both become strong – to become family and who continue to be there for us.
All these people, all these countless hearts, worked in unison so I could one day hold my son in my arms for the first time and he would be home. lt is often I will stop, give pause and honor the many hearts who traveled along on our journey with us – the many hearts that now beat as one.
So many hearts are affected in so many different ways (from great joy to deep grief), on many levels, before and during the adoption process and continue to evolve and heal as time passes. To all the hearts all over the world, from the smallest town to the biggest city, that has in any way been affected by adoption, I honor your strength and your courage. I honor your heart.
P.S. Remember that moment I mentioned when I first held my son in my arms? I wrote this for my son…
“In that moment, quiet surrounded me. It was as if time actually stood still. My breath caught. My heart stopped. Slowly, gently, I wrapped you in my arms. I felt the steady rhythm of your heart next to mine. Softly, I pressed my cheek to yours, closed my eyes and exhaled…In the stillness of that quiet miracle, I held you, my son, for the very first time. In that moment at last, the journey of many hearts beat as one. And you were home.”
Lisa Jacuzzo is a mom, a graphic designer, and Founder of ManyHeartsOneBeat, Adoption Keepsakes Honoring the Adoption Journey. Lisa hopes that one day Many Hearts One Beat™, via their adoption keepsakes, becomes a symbol of what can be accomplished when we all work together for the love of a child.