3 flights, 33 hours and 9,000 miles to become an adoptive dad


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The following is a guest post from Darin Moss. He shares his incredible story of how he and his wife recently adopted a little boy and how he was able to celebrate Father’s Day in a special way. Enjoy!

Darin with his wife and newly adopted son

I’m sleep deprived…

I go days without a shave…

I’ve been pooped on, peed on, spit up on, and screamed at… And that’s just in one afternoon…

And I’m the happiest I’ve ever been…

I’m the new dad of a 14 week old little boy. 

After nearly two years with our adoption agency awaiting “The Call”, the daily anxious anticipation was gone, the frantic checking of caller ID with every phone call had stopped long ago, and the cool factor of the adoption wait had long since worn off.  

We had saved for a while to take a big vacation, and I was hopeful that this would help bring back a little bit of the energy and excitement that had been lost along the way as we waited to grow our family.

We found some amazing deals that would let us to travel to South America, spend 5 days in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and then take a cruise to visit Uruguay, Patagonia, The Falkland Islands, Tierra Del Fuego, and Chile. 

I became fixated on this trip – the sights we would see, the restaurants we would dine in, what row in the airplane would give us the most legroom for the long international flights, etc. 

It gave my mind a place to go crazy – where I didn’t have to think about the mountain of paperwork we had completed, the 600+ days that had elapsed since our final home study, and the wondering why we hadn’t been the right choice for a placement in the last 599.

Visiting this part of South America is one of the items on our bucket list, that growing set of things we want to do and accomplish in our lifetimes.  While we were both really excited at the prospect of crossing such a great experience off of our list, one bucket list item remained elusive. 

After 7 rounds of intensive infertility treatments and a third trimester stillborn loss of our first child, a beautiful little girl, becoming parents had remained on the list for nearly a decade.

For the moment though, we had become caught up in the excitement of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, and at almost 7,000 miles from home, it gave us a little distance from work and the wait as we met so many warm and welcoming people, got to practice our Spanish, enjoyed amazing steak dinners, explored many of the unique neighborhoods of the city, and even danced a little Tango. 

It was an epic adventure already, and with the cruise still to come, we were in agreement that the best was yet to come!  Little did we know how true that statement would be…

A few days later, we had arrived into the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo. 

It was a local holiday, so while the city was slowly beginning to wake up after a long weekend of celebrations and parties, we walked along the quiet cobblestone streets, admiring this seaside town. 

We took a stop at the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral, admiring its beautiful architecture, history, and taking a moment to offer our prayers for safe travel, our family, friends, and for all birthparents choosing to make an adoption plan.

Exiting the cathedral, we found a park nearby where folks were online with internet, and we checked our email to send a note to family and friends… 

As we pulled up the listing of new messages, there was one from an unexpected sender, our adoption counselor, simply titled, “Please Call ;-)”. 

The next 2 hours were a blur of Skype calls, learning that a baby boy had been born 3 days prior, that we had been selected as his parents, and we getting to see him for the first time with photos sent to our GMail account. 

In that moment, everything changed. I was a dad. 

Nothing else in the world mattered in that moment, and yes, I’m not gonna lie, I was balling my eyes out in the middle of a public square in Montevideo, Uruguay, staring at two big brown eyes and a tiny smirk of a grin in the photo that would be printed out and remain with us until the day he was in my arms.

It took a few more days to work through the required legal steps and to logistically figure out to make an emergency travel arrangements home.  

Once that was complete, 3 very long airplane flights later, covering 33 hours of travel and nearly 9,000 miles, we jumped in the car, drove 4 more hours, and just after 6pm on March 10, 2014, I celebrated Father’s Day.

The last 3 months have been one amazing moment after another as we have bonded over bottle feedings, diaper changes, rides in the car, and endless smiles, giggles, and laughs. 

4am wakeup calls are not an inconvenience but another chance to see him grow and learn as it seems everything is engaging him and of interest. 

Sing-a-longs to Pandora’s kid stations are my new morning routine and at least half of my wardrobe has been baptized by his drool.  He loves bathtime, and can’t wait to introduce him to the pool this summer. 

At 3 months old, he has already taught me more than I ever thought possible about priorities, fatherhood, and unconditional love, and I look forward to being able to repaying that debt for the rest of my life.

Although I appreciate that the 3rd Sunday of June is set aside for Father’s Day, I’ll be spending a quiet day at home with my family. 

I’ll be thinking about all of the dads that will be, those that are on the journey of adoption, and whose wait continues.  Those that deserve to hold their child, see them smile, and know that the time, the sacrifice, and the wait has meaning, purpose, and is infinitely worth it in the end.

Darin Moss

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