Adopting a teen: 8 years later

As of last Sunday, it has been eight years since the day we finalized Lindsey’s adoption.

In the courtroom on Lindsey’s adoption day, 2009:
adoption day 2009

Eight years.
In many ways, that feels like a lifetime ago. I look at that picture and I can hardly remember who we were then.

Some of you have been reading and following that long, praying us through a great unknown. If that’s you, consider this a great big virtual thank-you hug. As you may imagine, adopting a teenager was scary. For all of us. Lindsey put on a fearless front, but we all had enough sense to know that we didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into. None of us had any idea what the future might look like.

Looking back, I’m glad we couldn’t have seen everything ahead. Based on some of those days (weeks, months…), we’d have gone running. All of us. I can say that now because we’re on the other side of it.

This is what 8 years can bring.

grandmotherly moments

At our regular Sunday afternoon pizza lunch, Khloe sat next to me as usual and we made faces, smooched, and laughed at each other. That girl is 100% nut. She brings out the nut in me, too. (It’s not far beneath the surface!) Greyson is getting to the age where he’s awake for more than a few minutes at a time, so he and I had a little one-on-one chat, getting a chance to look each other in the eye, and then he fell asleep on me and I savored some baby snuggles.

These grandmotherly moments of toddler silliness and baby snuggles are what I get now, and it’s all because we said yes eight years ago. I didn’t earn these gifts; they are a result of grace. (Y’all, look at my nutty grandbaby girl’s face; told you she’s a nut!)

baby dedication with grandparents

I still struggle with parenting Scout, and some days I am overwhelmed at the thought of how many parenting years remain ahead of me. Many parents reading this can’t fathom that feeling; you’d rather your children stay little as long as possible. I understand how that is, too — but this has never been a place where I’ve candy-coated hard things. Coming so far with Lindsey gives me hope that maybe my future with Scout will be better than I can currently imagine.

We’re all human, so it’s still not always sunshine and giggles. But we’re family. We’ve all learned a whole lot more about what that really means, and it has nothing to do with DNA.

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