We had another great weekend with the boys, and we enrolled them in Sunday School. Although they will be changing classes on August 21, they have at least met some of the other kids with whom they will be growing up. After the 11:00 service, Sean saw one of the kids from his 3rd grade class and said "That kid is my best friend!" He was so excited about all the newness.
Isn't it great how young children so easily adapt?
If all goes according to plan, this Thursday, July 28, we will sign the paperwork to have them live with us permanently. A lot of people call this Moving-In Day. We have to wait another 90 days before we can petition to finalize the adoption but this is a major step in the right direction.
We are so excited. About having Zach & Sean with us full time. About having a bigger family. About what the future holds. In a way it's like the wedding vows: "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish." We know we'll have plenty of all of this, but there's nothing else we'd rather do. We know this is what we are meant to do. And we know that God is with us. We know that He has brought us to this place.
Please continue to pray for us, all four of us. Our adoption journey is not ending. It is only beginning.
It is with no hesitation that we say, absolutely, positively that these two boys are our sons. We had an absolutely fantastic weekend (three days and two nights).
We got them Friday morning at 10:00 and had planned to show them around Montgomery but after stopping by Mike's office and driving by the state capitol, they really just wanted to go home. And the weather was bad enough that that was a really good idea. We spent the afternoon playing with Lego's and hanging out. They desperately wanted to go the pool but the weather had it closed. Friday night we had pizza and some cut-up veggies. Then we had ice cream - but we did have veggies!!!!! We then watched some Disney Channel shows and played with Lego's some more. We brought them to bed and prayed with them - that was such a parent moment!
Saturday morning, after a breakfast of homemade waffles, we decided to go to the pool as soon as it opened. Of course there had been lightning in the area so it was delayed in opening but we did eventually get to swim for more than an hour. Sean showed off his diving board skills (that were quite impressive) and Zach and Mike played volleyball - there was a net over the pool. Mike showed off his cannonball, and Kerri jumped off the diving board when Sean asked her to try it. It was fun!
When we left the pool, Mike rode in the bed of the truck with them while Kerri drove slowly around the neighborhood. We even passed a police car and waved to him.
We had grilled burgers, mac & cheese, green beans and tater tots for dinner and then made a HUGE bowl of popcorn and watched Chicken Run for family time.
Sunday, we went to the 11:00 service at church and got to see several of our friends, and they got to meet Pastor Jay.
Before taking them back to Birmingham, we sat them down for the moment of truth. We told them that we had really enjoyed having them for the weekend and that, if they would like to, we would really like them to come live with us permanently. No response.
Kerri then asked "Would you like that?" and they gave a resounding "YES !"
There were hugs and high-fives all around for the next few minutes before we left for Birmingham.
God has blessed us so much through this journey, and we thank Him for his providence, guidance and love. Thank you for all your prayers - keep going - we just figured out we don't know what we're doing!! :o)
We hope to have them living with us by the end of this week. We'll let you know when that happens. Keep praying!!!!!
We are, right now, excited, overwhelmed, so happy, scared, nervous, expectant and so grateful to God!!! We met with our two boys yesterday at the McWane Center in Birmingham. We had the best time - we could not have scripted it better! We did not want it to end. They are so cute - not just in how they look but their personalities and everything - the whole package.
We met them in the Food Court and chatted a bit. Then, we started going through the interactive science center (if you have kids and you have not been to the McWane Center, let me encourage you to do so - really cool, fun and educational). One of the boys would look, play with the exhibit we were looking at and then move on to the next one while we were still there; I asked him to stay with us because there were so many people, and he soon stayed with us - that way, we were able to interact with him more. The kids had a lot of fun - they LOVED the shark/manta ray pet tank!!! (So did we.) We went there two times and must have spend almost an hour there. The boys were content to wait for the sharks (small - the largest was about 2 feet long) to swim by while they talked to us. It all felt very natural - which is one thing for which we were praying. Both kids smiled and laughed and played. We ate lunch - pizza for all - and got to know each other more. Then, we revisited some of the exhibits they liked the best.
At the end of our time, we asked the boys if they would like to spend the weekend with us - they boys said a very emphatic "yeah!" and gave us high tens. We then went over to a kind of Rube Goldberg machine with golf-sized balls that ran through all sorts of tubes and obstacles. We just watched and talked and really didn't want to leave them. That is such a good sign!!! We got hugs!
We walked them to their social worker's car, and we kept talking and laughing. When they finally had to pull away, and after we waved until they were out of sight, Mike looked at Kerri and said, "I'm in love!" We just were in awe!!!
We saw so many great things. We noticed on the video of the boys we saw on Heart Gallery, the older boy didn't look at the camera or at anyone - and he looked us right in the eye! He also came up behind Mike and just put his arms around him! They both really took to Mike - which is great!! The younger boy also seemed to warm up to us rather quickly - he is very happy where he is, so his transition will be harder. We had given them a scrapbook with pictures and information about us two weeks ago, and Mike quizzed them on some things. The younger boy not only knew all our cats' names but also how old each one was - that was cool.
They are spending this whole weekend with us - we will pick them up at 10:00 tomorrow!!! We have so much to do - gotta clean up the house and grocery shop and pray and try to sleep tonight!
God has orchestrated all this for us. He is so amazing - we have given him the boys and our relationship and this whole process. Thank you to all who are praying for us - this cannot be done without the Lord and His guidance, wisdom and love. He created these two boys, and He loves them. We want them to know Him and to know His love.
Well, the day has arrived to meet the boys for the first time. We are excited to meet them and we hope they are as well.
We have talked a lot with their state caseworker and have gotten a sense of what to expect although anything is possible. We have been told they are excited to visit and we have been told they have some anxiety about it. Both emotions are understandable.
From them AND from us.
Unless the whole situation devolves, we will have them for 2 nights this weekend, from Friday, July 15, thru Sunday, July 17. They will be coming with us to church on Sunday (no autographs, please). :o)
This is such a tremendous moment for us; in our personal, married and spiritual lives. Please say a quick prayer for us and for them that all would go well. We will post again soon to let you know how it went.
We will meet them for the first time on Wednesday, July 13 at the McWane Center in Birmingham. With them will be their case worker and state social worker.
It will be a brief, about 4-hour visit and we'll all eat lunch together.
We have sent our family scrapbook to the case worker so she can send them on to the foster folks to share with each of them (the boys are not in the same foster home). Hopefully something will "click" and they will have questions for us.
If all goes well, we will be getting them two days later, on Friday, July 15, for an overnight visit.
Kerri and I are very excited. Please pray for the boys that God would ease their anxiety and replace it with joy, optimism and excitement about what the future holds. Please pray also for us that God would open our eyes and hearts to see what the boys need so we can make educated decisions.