November 6, 2009.
It was a short, sweet conversation. I told him happy birthday and asked him if he'd opened his gift from us, a small blue Texas keychain with little diamonds marking the location of Austin, where he'd stayed for 5 weeks with the hosting program, and Dallas, where we lived, which was supposed to be the home that awaited him. He said he did and that he'd worn it clipped to his pants all day.
We both knew at this point that the adoption was not going to happen, after all, but neither of us were at liberty to mention it to the other one. I wondered how many more times I might even be able to call him after that night. He already knew that this was the last conversation he'd be able to have with me.
We talked a little bit about his brother's gift for him, and then I told him that I loved him, and he said he loved me in return. We said goodbye, and though I still tried to call him several more times throughout the month, they never let me talk to him again. He knew I still tried to call, though, whether I ever knew that on my end.
Now here we are this weekend, 7 years later, celebrating his birthday together with him for the fourth time. I can't tell you how many mixed emotions I have as a mom watching my son turn 19 years old, knowing that I didn't get to celebrate the first 15 birthdays with him. Better late than never, though. I'm so thankful that God didn't leave this date as the day we said goodbye. Rather than a date to grieve over, we get to celebrate it. For the rest of his life.
The newer Colombian jersey he's been wanting.
The windbreaker David got for him (that they went shopping for together a few weeks ago).
An upgraded phone that he's waited patiently for.
A photo book of all of his Senior pictures
David's turn for an early gift (an upgraded phone, as well).
Then a nice lunch out for Colombian food at a restaurant that opened the year he was born.
With one of his good friends from school, Cesar (trying Colombian food for the first time).
Drinking his all-time favorite fruit juice, jugo de guanabana.
You can take a boy out of Colombia, but you can't take Colombia out of the boy. :)
I sure do love him and still get teary-eyed over the fact that God gave him back to us, that God did indeed choose us to be his parents, after all.