My 3 monkeys before we left for the courthouse.
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!
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!