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June 11, 2008

As the day begins I want to take a few minutes to publicly celebrate not only Will’s birth, but also his addition to our family. It is difficult to remember, sitting here a year later, all of the emotions we experienced, and I suppose that is a blessing.

We had only known for a little more than a month that we were going to be adopting him, so there was a major rush to prepare not only our home, but also get all of our paperwork done. We began the process not knowing how we would pay for it, but God answered that particular prayer in a definitive way through our church family. We also weren’t totally sure it would all happen, and for a while it didn’t, but again our church family (up to and including our physical families) were up to the challenge.As I think more about it, that day was full of excitement and fear and joy and apprehension, and all of it had to be restrained. All of these emotions, and several more, were present, but none could be given full rein. We just had to sit and wait, and that was perhaps the hardest thing of all.

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Jaycie with her new brother - a few days old

I want to also pause and thank Will’s birth parents. Part of what made that day (and the following weeks) difficult is that we saw in their faces how much they loved him, and we could only imagine the battle that was raging within them. They had made a good but tough decision, but they weren’t prepared for the love that they felt when he was born. We could see them struggle, and to this day I continue to be amazed that they made the decision that they did. To admit that you are not prepared for a child and to know that no matter how much it hurts you, he will have a better life with another family has got to be one of the hardest things to do.

So to his birth parents, thank you for this gift. He has brought us all so much joy, from his first smile to his first steps, we have cherished each day. We love him as our own, and will continue to teach, nurture and guide him the best we can. And as we tell his story, he will always know that you love him.

One final gift we have been given in the last year is spiritual in nature. As we have experienced each step of this journey we have known true love. We have seen love like God has when Will’s birth parents gave him to us. We have felt some semblance of the love God has when they decided to take him back. We were completely crushed, yet we felt God wrapping his arms around us through the love of our Christian brothers and sisters.

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Just a few days old.

If the story had ended there, we would have had a great story to tell of God’s care and concern for us. But He saw fit to give our son back to us, and the love we have felt for Will helps remind us once again of the love God has to adopt us as His sons and daughters, no matter the cost or the pain or the heartache we cause Him. We have also been overwhelmed through each step of the way by the love we have felt from so many people who we haven’t seen in years, all over the country, who care so deeply about us and have lifted our family up in prayer. There are no words to express the great comfort we received from you.

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Hannah with her "buddy" - August

I am so thankful for each piece of this story – the good and the bad. I wouldn’t want to do it again, but I know that if needed, we could do it because it is God who sustains us. He gives us what we need, and He knows best what that is better than I do.

Okay, enough stalling. I have a cake to bake. Enjoy these pictures of our “little” boy.

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Will in September

Adoption Day!

Adoption Day! October 22, 2008

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Jackson's Orchard - October

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December (Duh!)

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January 2009

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March - starting to cruise the furniture already

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Easter - the first picture when he looks all grown up

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June - walking all alone (not his sunglasses, btw)

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