Our Miracle Boy

Most of you have seen our video, introducing our newly official son, Dalton. Our adoption day was Friday, and we spent the weekend celebrating big.

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We wanted to show off his handsome face and let you oooh and ahhh over those blue eyes like we do. But what we couldn’t fit in the video was the miraculous entwining of Dalton’s story and ours. God’s hand moved mightily through our lives, and I don’t believe the details are small coincidences.

The first miracle of our meeting was announced during the first home visit after Dalton was placed with us. Our support-worker said, “he never should have come to you. They made a mistake.”

On the day Dalton was to be moved, the DCS employee making the call mixed something up, and called us by mistake. She was supposed to have called a waiting family, pre-selected as an adoptive home. She was supposed to call someone else. But she called us. And we said yes. Thank God for her mistake.

I also discovered, reading through old journals, that on the day Dalton was born, I had a dream that woke me in tears about our baby. We had adopted a newborn baby and it felt so real, my heart ached for weeks afterward. I believe God was telling me I was a mother. I only needed to wait.

But my favorite detail of our miracle boy’s story is this: on the day Dalton went into state custody the first time, we signed up for our first foster care classes.

It was our first step toward each other. Both of us stepping out into the unknown at the same time. Our stories took time, both stories moved through pain and fear. But God knew. The stirring in our hearts was big and planned from the start.

As Dalton so beautifully explained a few nights ago before bed, “I was in your heart and God told you, ‘be patient’ and you were waiting for your Dalty and God told you, ‘wait for that Dalty!’ and then I was here!”

Thank you, Lord. My son is here.

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So Many Things

It’s been quite a while since I blogged. There are so many things I missed, so I’ll just go over the main points for now. I really want to get back into the swing of blogging – I so miss this outlet!

So chronologically, here we go:
1) One of my very best friends in the whole world (who happens to be my little sister) moved to Nashville and is staying with us for a while. We are thrilled to have her here. She brings us much joy.
2) We got settled in to our new house and we are loving it! Especially the back yard.
3) We had lots of meetings for D’s case, and later this month we have some bigger court dates.
4) Had our first Christmas, first snow, and first hockey game with D. He loved every moment.
5) I got to meet up with a small group of foster mama friends who have been such wonderful strength and encouragement to me over the past several months. We shared hugs and fears and laughs and temporary tattoos.
6) I went to Atlanta on a girls-weekend-away with some of my closest friends and had a complete blast (despite leaving town under some stressful circumstances that all worked out fine). I’m already ready for my next trip, I think.
7) We got a foster care call for a newborn baby boy, 7 days old, coming straight from the hospital. Baby K was welcomed into our home Wednesday, March 5th. (More about K boy in a future post)
8) Baby K got sick and spent 48 hours in the hospital for monitoring. It ended up being a little virus, no big deal. I also got very sick with my first stomach flu in 18 years. No really. It was no fun to be sick at the hospital with K, but we are both on the mend and enjoying being home again.
9) While we were in the hospital, our D turned THREE YEARS OLD! The nurses made the biggest deal of it and we had a small party for him in the play room of the pediatrics floor. He kept telling us he was having a great birthday. Thankful he’s so cheerful and that he was young enough to not really be bummed about being at the hospital for K on his special day.

So that’s a quick overview of our last few months. Lots happening over here!

Thankful for Coloring

There is a flurry of activity around my house these days, as you can imagine, and I am so behind on work. But I set aside 10 minutes to just sit and remind myself to be thankful for the chaos and all the changes that are coming my way and while I was sitting and thinking and being thankful, I made this coloring sheet.

Print it out and spread it around the kids table this Thanksgiving. Or hand one to that relative who will not stop complaining all day as a gentle reminder. Or save it as your phone’s wallpaper. The possibilities are ENDLESS!

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Six Months

When I was standing in Chipotle six months ago, talking on the phone to the DCS worker and I said, “YES! How long?” I heard, “we think 6 months.” Knowing full well that things are never that cut and dry with the foster care system, I geared up for 6 months but earnestly stepped into the unknown.

The thing about foster care is that plans get changed, people have small victories and large ones – small setbacks and large ones, court dates are scheduled and rescheduled, paperwork gets shuffled, caseworkers quit, unknown after unknown, delay after delay, we plug along because God asked us to step into this unknown. We say, “for however long our family looks like this, we thank you, Lord” in our nightly prayers. We ask for strength for the possible worst outcomes and we hope and we hope and we hope for what we think is the best.

In most hard things in life, I have found that the unknown is the hardest part… the part that makes me think, “I can’t do this,” so many times. And I can’t do it. I am sometimes bitter and possessive, I am fighting a battle that is hard and foreign, and I am always forgetting to trust.

But this week we hit the six month mark of our life with D, and we have some upcoming meetings regarding his future and our future. We still don’t know if D will be with us forever or if our D is only “our D” for a short while. In this small milestone, I’ve been thinking and praying for all of us who know this boy and love this boy and call him “our D.” Our happy, determined, strong and smart boy. He doesn’t have Dave’s nose, but he is a hard and determined worker, just like his Daddy Dave. He doesn’t have my eyes or my hair, but he is cuddly and loves to be silly, like his Mama Steph. He’s SO polite and smart, like his Mommy J and he is kind and brave like his Daddy J. He looks just like his birth mom. Just like her. There are so many more people who know him as “their D”- people I will likely never meet, never even know their names. So thankful that our D is so loved.

We have seen him change so much in just these 6 months. He loves to talk. All day every day chatting away. He trusts that I won’t hurt him when we are playing. He believes Dave when he tells him he’ll be home after work. He says, “I love you too,” when I tell him 1000 times a day that I love him. He just fits here, with us. It feels like it has always been us. It is fulfilling and joyful and life-giving work. So this week when more unknowns arise and more details get thrown into the mix, I will thank God for our D, for *this* family- however long our family looks like this- and I will choose to trust.

We are still walking the unknown. We are hoping for our family to be forever, but trying to hope with our hands lifted high, opened to release him if we must. It will be fiercely painful if D leaves us. We are not superheroes. Our “we could never let go” feelings are not gone. We have just begun. Still we pray – for however long our family looks like this, we thank you, Lord.

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Today was my 8th wedding anniversary with Dave. It was also our first night out since D came. We had the MOST lovely time.

For ELEVEN YEARS, I’ve been trying to convince him to do a photo booth picture with me. Tonight was our night.

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We left a napping D at our friends’ house and wandered the mall until our movie started. We saw The Conjuring. I squeezed Dave’s hand right off his arm and had my face covered through 90% of the movie.

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After the movie we had dinner on the patio at Chuy’s. Guys. Fish tacos with creamy jalapeƱo sauce. It’s where it’s at. Then we came home, chased a giggling D around the house for a few minutes, and decided we’d stay married forever and ever.

I love this man. Just, so much.

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His First Father’s Day

I don’t really know how to write a post about my husband on his first Father’s Day. What do I say about this sorta-daddy?

The one who flips kids upside down 100 times in a row and let’s them throw beach balls at his face for fun

The temporary-papa who took our first foster placement in at midnight all by himself, read her a story, and tucked her in

The man made our second foster placement fall so in love with his new “Daddy-Dave” so quickly that I wasn’t sure I’d ever be as loved by D

The Daddy-Dave who fell asleep on the bed next to the pack-n-play in the middle of the night because our D wasn’t sleeping well

The man who rescues me with a quick foster-dad, foster-son trip to the park when a certain little toddler has poured a mug full of cold coffee on his head, the floor, and the kitchen counter on purpose after a really rough day and an even rougher week

The man who was described as gentle and loving to D’s birth mom and has earned the description time and time again

The man who makes my tired-mama days feel lighter and better every moment he is here and cheers and laughs with me on my happy-mama days

That Daddy Dave.

I guess what I can say is that I’ve never been so thankful for the man he is, for the ways he helps me, and his commitment to our family. I love him, I love him. Happy Daddy Dave Day.

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