Well, really Finalization Morning as it is almost 1am. Yet here I sit, unable to sleep with SO MANY FEELINGS that it is hard to put into words. I cannot believe the day is finally here. The day I have been dreaming, day dreaming, and planning for. The day where in the eyes of the world our family is a family. Where everyone else sees our family like we have seen it from the day C and P moved in and we were a complete family. Where there is no awkwardness with different last names. Where when we go to the doctor and they ask if I am mom I can say yes without the explanation. Where my kids can begin to feel like this is forever, not until their next screw up or until I get mad, but until FOREVER. Until we meet again in heaven.
Wow, such a big day. I thought that maybe it would feel routine. I mean we have been living like a family for more than 10 months now so how could 1 meeting change anything. We are trying to explain it to the kids to let them know it is important but that the day to day stuff won’t change. For P we are saying that we need to go tell the judge that he is a L (our last name) since the judge doesn’t know yet.
My parents traveled up for the day and Joel’s parents are coming too. We made a list of people to invite and some can’t come and some can. We will be finalizing our adoption the same day that my kids’ biological sisters are finalizing THEIR adoption so it will be good to be there for theirs. S especially is excited, I think because since she was such a care taker she feels like she can rest easy since they are in a good home. Then we are going out to brunch and home to go swimming with grandma.
I can’t believe this day is finally here! MY KIDS! I can’t say that enough. Sometimes, looking back on the winding path that all 5 of us took to get here I marvel at God’s handiwork. He brought two people together who were so different. Who if they would have met years before would probably have not liked each other very much. Brought them together and gave them the bravery to lift their masks so the other could see who they really were. He sustained that couple through hard times, mental illness, separation (due to work and school schedules), and communication errors (that seem funny look back, but WERE NOT funny then!). He brought me to this amazing family of in-laws who took me in as their own and loved me without question. Who helped me navigate many challenges and always was there to offer a hug or a place for a nap. To offer advice, but always understanding if I didn’t want advice. He gave me this amazing family of origin who understood that I needed to leave and not come back for a while (if ever). That I could never be emotionally healthy without leaving and starting things over and on my own. Who always supported me in my crazy dreams (like getting engaged to a man I’d known for 2 weeks!) Who, even though I was miles away prayed for me and thought of me often. Who showed me what it means to take care of family no matter what.
He brought us to this town, this amazing town with an amazing church family that supports and uplifts them. That was there to reassure me that this really was God’s path when I felt like giving up. To let me hug and hold their children when I could not bear for my arms to be empty for another minute. To commiserate with me over the difficulties of parenting and understand my being overwhelmed at going from zero to three kids overnight. To step in as honorary grandparents to my kids who crave stability and positive attention. Who pray for us without ceasing. To ask and REALLY want to know the answers to their questions, even if the answers were hard to say and hard to hear.
He brought my amazing children into this world. He put people in their paths to care for them and keep the seed of love and safety watered. No it was not the way I wish it would have been for them, but I can’t help but see God in how my kids continue to open themselves up for love and stability, even though everything in their lives would tell them not to get hurt again. How they strive for connection despite all the hurt in their lives.
He brought amazing social workers into their lives to search for the family that they belong to. He led them to a foster home who value God’s place in their lives. Who loved them like they were their own and prayed for their future family before having met us. Who spoke love and honesty and stability into their lives before we even knew they existed. Who have been so gracious as to continue to speak love and stability into their lives on a regular basis.
And finally He placed a desire in Joel and my hearts to reach out, and reach out again when the doors were shut on us. To go through all the hoops and cut through all the red tape to get to where we are now, the night before the adoption finalization of our kids. He gave us unnatural patience on MANY days after placement when we were at our wits end. He showed us how to encourage and love on each other through this process so we don’t neglect our relationship to focus on the kids. He showed us how we compliment each other as parents and where our areas for growth are.
As we walk into that court room tomorrow morning (my alarm is set to go off in 4 hours so I guess it is really this morning) I can’t imagine what I will be feeling. However, I know that right now I am feeling so many things, but most of all I feel in awe. In awe of a God so big that he could knit this family together. I always knew that God knit people together in their mother’s wombs. But He knit this family, my family together from many different states, through many hardships and interferences, and through years. He had a plan for us to be together from that night when S was born and I was states away in a hospital wondering if it is worth it to live through the next day. He had a plan for when C was born and Joel and I were finalizing our wedding plans. He had a plan when P was born and we were planning for Joel to make the move south and for me to follow him upon graduation 9 months later.
I am so incredibly blessed with my amazing family. Yes they drive me crazy and they always will. Families, no matter how they are formed, are still families. But I would not trade a second of this amazing crazy life for anything!