We've also adopted 3 times, and for us, it's the same thing. Joey is our baby. We are full of joy of him joining our family. When he was "born" into our family, we counted his precious fingers and toes and held him close and smelled his skin. We still can't stop staring at him and can't believe he's ours. Every child deserves to be treasured in this way, and just because he's an older child and adopted doesn't mean we should skip over these things.
In many ways, we did just have a baby. We were "paper pregnant" for 10 months with him. We grew to love him as each day passed through the process and joyously waited in anticipation of his birth into our family. We are tired just as birth families are tired when a baby joins their family. It's a huge life change and lots of adjustments are going on for everyone in our family. As with babies, it takes time for us to get to know him and feel adjusted to our new normal.
In most ways, our new baby is the same as every other baby. He feels happy, he feels sad. He needs to be fed, rocked, held and loved on. He needs to learn that we'll respond to his needs. He has things he likes, things he doesn't like. We're getting to know his personality.
In a few ways, our baby is different from most others. He has a condition that makes his arms, legs, hands and feet different. He can't bend or move his limbs in a normal way. This makes his walking and every day movements different from most other kids. And it's okay. It's who he is, and he is wonderfully and perfectly made. We adore him and all of his differences.
World, be kind to our son. We don't mind questions (really we don't!), but be kind. Help your children to be kind. We love our baby and just know you will too!