Wednesday, April 9, 2008

IT'S OFFICIAL...

TODAY WAS THE BIG DAY!!

My 3 monkeys before we left for the courthouse.

Right after court! I just had an awesome experience; something I have never done before. I was shaking with nerves and there were tears. And then the attorney said, “Please tell the judge why you want to adopt Izaiah.” How could I explain to the judge how the baby that came into my life almost 2 years ago immediately fit into our family like the last piece of a puzzle? In a few short sentences, how could I sum up how the size of my heart has grown over the past two years to make room for one more set of first steps, one more first word and millions more hugs and kisses? When we started our foster care journey almost four years ago, my husband was stumped. He couldn’t understand what made me think we needed to have another child. Matthew and Emily were finally at the age where we could take them anywhere and it was easy. No U-Haul of paraphernalia followed our minivan anymore. We are an on-the-go kind of clan. “We have one of each, they don’t make anything else,” he would say. The only way I could put into words the ache in my heart for another child was a visual that had flashed through my head from time to time for over a year. I explained to him that when I look into the future in my mind, that proverbial “where do you see yourself in five years,” our family is sitting on a couch posing for a photo and I can clearly see Ken, myself, Matthew and Emily but there is one more joining our group. A small child sat on my lap but I just couldn’t see its face. I truly believed God was saying, “I have one more.” Many years ago I was talking to my mom about having more children and she was thinking I had lost my mind because Matthew and Emily came into the world one right after the other. “Well, how many more,” she asked. I explained that I would never stop at three because that would make Emily the middle child and she is the more sensitive of the two so it would have to be two more. Four children. “Unless,” I clarified, “I could guarantee that 3rd child was a boy, then she would be the only girl and maybe that would off set that middle child syndrome.” We both agreed that it was not a possibility to guarantee gender. Now, I know, never say never. Almost four years ago, when we were starting our journey with the Child Welfare system my friends would ask me, “How are you going to give the children back?” They knew me and if you know me you know that my love for children is embedded in my fingerprints. It is just a huge part of who I am. I had no answer. I didn’t want to think about it. I couldn’t explain. I, too, couldn’t fathom how I would be able to give back the scared and abused children we would love but I had an unexplainable peace about it so I just trusted God. Around this time I had a dream. You know those dreams that stick with you for days. The ones you just can’t shake? That was what this dream was like. There was a baby, a strawberry blond, tiny little boy. The dream lasted only a few scenes and I awoke but I felt like I knew that baby. For days I would get a jolt only a mother could get, “Gasp. Who’s got the baby?” It was almost as though I had been given a divine responsibility to that child. Little did I know, I had. Just the other day as I was looking through an old journal, I came across the entry about that dream. I did the math. I had that dream right around the time Izaiah was conceived. The time was coming. April 25, 2006 our third child came into our lives as a scared, very tiny, strawberry blond 9 month old. A child that would nervously visit his birthparents at the courthouse weekly. A child who we were told would go back home soon. Well, because God works miracles, today, April 9, 2008, twenty of his fans (closest family and friends) filed into a courtroom and witnessed Izaiah’s adoption finalization. And then there were three. The past two years of first words, scraped knees and other childhood milestones was summed up in four words. The judge declared our adoption final and our five best friends held up an Izaiah-sized t-shirt with the words, “FINALLY A BROWNLOW” printed on the front. Izaiah reached for the shirt and squealed, “ME!”
Happy Adoption Day, buddy. We love you!
The shirt!

His Fan Club!

The Grandparents!

The Angels (case workers) of Berks County Children & Youth Services!

Such a blessing from God! Such a beautiful day!

Kim at Bugs and Bunnies was quick with the fact check today...

TODAY IS NATIONAL SIBLINGS DAY!

40 comments:

Kim Wheedleton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim Wheedleton said...

I keep thinking today is Thursday, so I apologize, because National Siblings Day is actually tomorrow (April 10). Ooops! Close enough, though, I hope?

Kim Wheedleton said...

Thanks for sharing your family's special day...

Karla with a K said...

Michelle,
CONGRATULATIONS - God has blessed you all.
Karla

ps Nice to have the celeb appearance, as well - you know - Kenny ;o)

Kalynne Pudner said...

Congratulations! What a great looking family! And if I'm not mistaken, the baby's hair looks kinda like yours now ;)

Take My Life... said...

YAY!!!... I am happy for you guys... He couldnt have had a better family.
Love
Mimi

nomi said...

Oh wow!!!! I'm in tears right now! My older brother and sister were adopted, because my parents couldn't have any of their own, or so they were told! I came along when my sister was 5, and perhaps the pressure was off, so to say! My brother and sister are such a blessing in my life, I am soooooooooo lucky that God sent them to my parents! Congratulations, I am very happy for you all!!!

Take My Life... said...

MICHEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLE
Look who we will see on OPRAH!!!!

On Monday, April 14th, Mariah(CAREY) will appear as special guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, preceding the E=MC² album release day on the 15th. The next night, April 16th, Mariah will perform on “American Idol” after serving as musical mentor to that week’s finalists.

arent you excited????
love
Mimi

Tracy said...

Congratulations!
You have such a beautiful family Michelle!
You know something? I have that same feeling. I know we have three kids already but I keep getting this idea in my head that there's a fourth supposed to be here too. Unfortunately, my husband isn't getting it in his head.
I'm so happy for you all! All of you have been blessed!

I am Heather...creator of all things crafty! said...

AWESOME, so excited for ya'll. Looks like Kenny Rogers wasn't gamblin' this time. He knew when to hold em'.....Love ya and am SOOOOOOOOOOOO happy for ya'll. My best friend Heather (I know too many Heather's) shares your same vision for a 3rd. Her first 2 are adopted. I'm still praying for her womb to open up, if the Lord chooses otherwise I will pray for another adoption. She has 2 boys and wants a girl.....

Rebecca said...

You almost made me cry I'm so happy for you guys!! Congratulations to you all! LUCKY little boy!!

Bina said...

I came by via Manic. (Let's face it, we all do what she tells us to do) I am so happy for you and your family, and your little boy! How very fortunate, and truly what a miracle!

Anonymous said...

Yeah!!! Congratulations to you and your family. I am thrilled for you. What a beautiful family.

Lori

Don't be surprised if you see a crazy fan waving at you guys in line at the Oprah show....

SubWife said...

Congratulations! You brought me to tears...

Mabunny said...

I definitely had tear by the time I ws done reading this post. Congratulations to all of you!You have a beautiful family.
Don't forget tocometo my blog and entermy contest , its getting off to a great and hilarious start!

Manic Mom said...

Oh my gosh, that is sooo, soooo cool!

I love this story. What a miracle!

We have the same, btw, BOY, GIRL, BOY... HEY, that could have been one of our secret Qs! And doesn't Dawn have Boygirlboygirlboygirl?!?!?!?!?

hahahahah, Can't wait to see you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BIG MANIC HUGS COMING YOUR WAY!

Suzie said...

Congratulations. What a wonderful day

Dorkita said...

YAY! Finally a Brownlow! :) Congrats!

Melanie said...

Congratulations! So exciting for your entire family.

twithhoney said...

I'm so happy for all of you... I'm a little choked up with tears.
Congratulations!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I sure do know when to "Hold Em"

Paaaaaaaaaaaap !!!!!!!!!!!!!

a journey said...

Congratulations Michelle!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! What a lovely family you have. Have fun on Oprah..I will try to watch on Monday!!

Ingrid

Shellie said...

Oh, Michelle, what a happy day! That post brought back so many memories of my middle boy's adoption. SO many similar experiences, the dreams and all; it's amazing, isn't it? It's like God puts that kid right in your heart and you know he's out there, you just have to find him. Congratulations!!!!

Dina said...

I am so happy for you and your officially expanded family! God is good and Izaiah is blessed to be a Brownlow. Congrats!!
Have a BLAST at OPRAH!! I have my TIVO set already!!!!!!!!!
Dina

The Journey Begins Here said...

Congrats. I am a little slow. I apologize. When you were talking about Izaiah I did not know that it was "little guy!" He is just beautiful. Now it all adds up. What a blessing. The journal entry will be something to treasure for you and him in the future.

What a great way to end the week right before your 'blog girl weekend'. Have a great time.

Love Theresa

Grandmother Goddess of the Garden said...

I'm finally caught up on your blog too and soooooooooo happy for all of you on the adoption being final...your ROCK! Remember to set your alarm and pray...die, cancer,die! I love you...safe travels...enjoy yourselves!

Kendra

Dawn said...

Congratulations Michelle! I'm so happy for you. God works in amazing ways, doesn't he? What a beautiful family!

Erin said...

Aw, this made me cry. Congratulations, this is so exciting. It must feel so great to make it all official even though he's had that permanent place in your heart since before he arrived in your lives.

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

HAPPY ADOPTION DAY!!!!!!!! I'm so happy for your whole family! :)

Sue said...

Michelle, What a great story! How could anyone not welcome that cutie into their family!? This may sound weird because I don't "know" you, but I am so proud that you stuck it out and finally adopted Izaiah! Very special people are foster parents.

Have a wonderful time on Oprah! You bet I'll be watching!

Melissa said...

The sweetest story ever!

Kim said...

Congrats! What a nice story! I cannot wait for our adoption day - one day! We are in the process of adopting from South Korea!

SWATCOP said...

Hey Kemper...congrats again as we know Izaiah was put into your family for HIS ultimate plan. I can't wait until Michele and I have that moment with Stevie! To know all of the worrying (well, most of it) and fears are gone of sending them back is over, how peaceful that must be. Have a great trip to Chicago you hobo! Oh, by the way "Finally a Brownlow" is only 3 words, not 4? Twin Valley math?

SWATCOP said...

OK, I get it. "ME" was the fourth word. LOL

MOMMY2JAM said...

Thrilling and sweet! Congratulations to all five Brownlows!

~Just A Thought Ginger said...

So amazing! Congratulations everyone!!!!

Carl & Kathy said...

Well congratulations! What a wonderful thing to happen to a family. Blessings to you all.

Sara Rose Tutus said...

Congrats! I am so very happy for your entire family! What a wonderful thing!

it's me, Val said...

Michelle,
I had no idea this happened! What a joyous day it had to have been. My family adopted my brother when he was 1-1/2. Just as a sibling, I know how great that is and was. As a parent, I don't know yet but truly truly hope to one day. What an angel you and your husband are! I am sooooo happy for you guys!!!!!! YAYYYYYYY!!!