This past Wednesday we had the profound joy of experiencing the finalization of Isobel's adoption into our family. The proceeding only lasted about four minutes but the words that were said the significance of its impact on my heart will remain with me for the rest of my life. There were giant sighs (of relief), happy tears, and a whole boat load of joy. And the commissioner insisted we come up and take her chair- as she happily placed a gold medal around Izzie's neck and welcomed her to the family.
And our hearts were touched deeply by the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and dear dear family friends who desperately wanted to come and witness this most special occasion and those who were able to come. We will treasure this picture and tell Isobel often of her family who loves her dearly. Even if the thing she was most interested in at the time was her foot.
And so as we were still trying to process all of this,our cup continues to overflow. And to be honest, no I have not-- really processed it all. In the bits and pieces of quiet moments in between all of the busy ones, I am trying to. Mostly I just hug Izzie a little tighter and kiss her a little more, and well up just a bit when she smiles at me with her dimples and those big brown eyes.
Some days it's still like I'm seeing her for the first time.
But back to that crazy overflowing cup.
Yesterday I went to a baby shower. And my daughter and I were the guests of honor.
Still shaking my head a bit on that one.
It wasn't about the stuff. It was never about the stuff. It was about having a chance, a moment, to be welcomed into motherhood by SO many women who I respect and love deeply. It was about finding healing in the one place that had triggered just so much heartache for so long- a baby shower. It was about having a chance to be with my people, all in one place, and to experience the restoration of so much that had previously been lost.
So bear with me on this because it's going to be a bit fragmented.
I saw the invitation for the first time yesterday after the party was over. And seriously. Could this BE more perfect or appropriate?
And when I first walked in the door, this is what I saw.
And then. I walked into this.
Seriously. Have you ever seen a prettier set up?! WITH A TABLE TUTU!!!???
And then the people came. My people. Who I love. Gave up their one Saturday this week (I LOVE my Saturday. I NEED my Saturday. And I am so stingy with it.) to come out in the crazy heat and join in the party we'd been waiting so long to have.
And there was the Alphabet book...which, I'm pretty sure is the best one in the history of baby shower alphabet books (I'm pretty convinced I have some of the most creative friends and family out there. !!)
And then there was some precious time of remembering and honoring God for the great miracle that he has done the incredible story of this little girl.
I remember very clearly, some day in November, I sat on the floor of the guest room, resting my head on the mattress that was leaning up against the wall. I'd just spent the weekend dismantling the twin bed and everything else that was in the room. I still didn't think that a baby was coming home with us, but God had gently pushed me to clean out the room anyway. And so I sat alone in the empty room and opened up a copy of "Longing for a Child" by the incomparable Kathe Wunnenberg, I sat and read the story of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River. They'd been wandering in the desert for forty years and when they came upon the 200 mile long, massively deep Jordan River. God had made a promise that He would lead them out of their wandering and into the "land flowing with milk and honey", otherwise known as the Promised Land. The Jordan River was the only thing separating them from it. And so as I sat and read and wept, I begged God to honor our huge leap of faith and to part the metaphoric waters of this impossible adoption story. And over and over again I came to that story when my faith that Isobel would be our daughter was shaken.
All of that to say that at the shower when my lifelong friend and trusted mentor brought out the children's version of the story of the Israelites crossing the Jordan, I couldn't stop the tears from coming. It was so perfect and so appropriate and just the right thing to explain yet again that the miracle of Isobel's life and story could only come from the hand of a divine God.
I don't know about anyone else because it was all just still so surreal, but I managed to get my sniffling under control just in time for. presents. holy buckets, the presents.
So. It's like here I am. God has given me a daughter. A child. Made me a mother. And then everyone just gave me ALL THIS STUFF. ! Like I said. overflowing cup. Just flowing. Everywhere. EVERYWHERE. My ridiculous expressions say it all, don't they?
Jesse's baby blanket. So cool.
And. then. The women who made this all possible. Well most of them. Plus my mom and my mom in law. Plus a few others that I know did some beautiful work as well. To all of you: I had more than one person ask me afterward if it was what I had always dreamed of. I will be honest and say that I pretty much quit dreaming of anything quite some time ago. But any sort of expectation or thought or desire that I may have had was completely exceeded. The hours upon hours upon hours upon hours with every single teeny tiny detail that was imagined and then executed just so beautifully. The inclusion of all of my babies. I will never be able to sufficiently thank you for what you did for this special day. You have loved me and loved my daughter just so well. And we love you too. Oh. and the JOY that you brought to my heart. just. huge.
I'm trying to find a way to wrap this up and struggling. Like a lot. And so I think I am just going to end with a few more pictures and sign off until next time. Our adoption journey might be complete, but our journey as a family of five (puppies included!!) is just beginning. I'm sure at some point, I will find something else to say. <3
The BEAUTIFUL take-home fridge magnets put together by none other than Debbie Jacks. <3
And one more of the tutu. Because it's a tutu. <3