Adoption finalization is just the beginning

For the past six months, these children have lived in my home, and for nearly that long they have called me Mama. Today we finalized their adoption. That’s the end of our foster-adoption process, but this is only the beginning of more than a dozen more years of parenting.

{at the courthouse today}
at the courthouse on adoption day

Adoption Day

My mom took the afternoon off work and rode along with us, and we all went out for pizza before heading to the courthouse. Our adorably pregnant caseworker managed to keep that baby in her belly so she could be there today. (She’s due in 3 weeks, so we weren’t sure!)

All was said in done in the courtroom in a matter of minutes. The judge seemed impressed I could give him a succinct answer of what adoption means: In the eyes of the law, it is as if I gave birth to them.

We didn’t make a big deal out of today because as far as the kids are concerned, we were already their forever family when they moved in. For them, today was just about getting papers with their new name on it. We’ve given them new middle names with meaning to us, and they’ll keep the first names given to them by their first mom. (We say “first mom” instead “birth mom” because it makes more sense to them).

A joyful day, but…

Today is a joyful day for our family, but I grieve, too. I grieve for the family that should’ve been, if this wasn’t such a fallen world: their first family. I grieve for the children in advance, as I know their little hearts will have big questions to wrestle with in the coming years as they reach new levels of comprehension about all of this.

I’m not as naive as I once was. I’ve learned it’s only God who can heal their hearts. I can only pray He will use me in the process, and that I’ll be able to show them what it looks like to trust Him through all life brings. I pray I can lead them to Him, but stay out of His way to work in their lives. Parenting is tricky business, and even more so in the messiness of adoption.

The road less traveled

As a friend of mine once something that has shown itself to be true in my life: when our lives look exactly like we imagined, we’re probably not following God’s will, but our own instead. This road the Lord has me on is not what I thought I’d have chosen, but here I am: Mama to two more little people. And I am blessed. Even when it’s hard. Maybe even especially when it’s hard. (But I tend to forget that in the midst of it.)

Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.