Monday, November 21, 2011

Adoption Day!

November 18th, 2011. God knew the day ages before any of us even existed. He knew that was the day we were going to adopt Isaiah Michael Clarke.

We left Matt's parents house at 6:00am to make the drive into Houston and my heart was beating fast and the tears came and went the whole drive. In just a few hours, Isaiah would have his name changed. He would no longer be a foster child. We got to the courthouse at 7:00am and had an hour to kill. We went and got breakfast tacos from a shack, 'cause what else are you going to do?

We met our family developer, Jessica, in the parking lot and made our way into the courthouse. There were all these families coming in. All these orphans being un-orphaned.

We signed papers. We waited. Isaiah ran up and down the hall crowded with caseworkers and proud families and kids in their Sunday best.

We worked hard to try to keep Isaiah entertained.
Shout out to my husband. He is the best. He is an amazing father. And a world class entertainer.
That boy loves his daddy...and the feeling is mutual.

We waited and waited. Our lawyer kept apologizing. For the wait. For the chaos. I told her I didn't care. I was adopting my son. I would've waited til whenever I had to. I had already waited 20 years. What was a few more hours?

When we finally were moved into the court room, Isaiah busied himself by...
brushing his hair,
climbing in the stroller,

and laying on the floor grunting.

Then it was our turn.

All the praying, the crying, the waiting, the trusting. We were here.

This moment right here. This moment is the one I have been dreaming about for at least twenty years. I never dreamed of the white dress, or the church, or the big wedding. I dreamt of me with my son on my hip in front of a judge. Making promises and claiming the ones that had been made to me.

Then it was over. The adoption petition had been granted by the judge, along with all the other petitions that our hearts had made to the Father for our son. Hallelujuah!

Then we went downstairs and ate cupcakes, took more pictures, and partied Harris-County-National-Adoption-Day style.

Through all this, I was suprisingly composed. Then on the way out of the courthouse I stopped off in the bathroom and when I sat down to use the bathroom, I started sobbing. It hit me like a ton of bricks. He was staying. I did not have to pack him up and stand in my front yard and wave goodbye. God promised and delivered. I thought if I had never known what it was like to say goodbye to a child, then maybe I wouldn't know just how sweet it is to not have to do that. In that moment, crying in a bathroom stall, I was thankful for every stinking piece of the whole puzzle and I wouldn't have taken an ounce of it back.

So there is the story. At least, my version of it. But I do want to take the time to honor the people who God used to bring our son home. Lisa Patterson, who loves orphans and works with God to place the lonely in families. Dale Smith, who runs our agency with humilty and obedience to the Father, and a deep love for the orphan. Kay Whyburn, who is crazy and just knew he belonged with us and broke countless rules to get him home. All his caseworkers: Sharon Love, Deedra Red, and even the one who almost dropped the ball who shall remained unamed. Amy Slaughter and Michelle Teal who helped seal the deal. Finally, Jessica Hall - our family developer, who is really more like a super-hard working, completely-invested auntie and friend. She puts up with my crazy antics and my shrill incessant phone calls with patience and love. You, my friend, are a light in the darkness of this system. A woman of God who loves Jesus and serves His people. We love you so much and cannot thank you enough for all you do!

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