On this date, three years ago, Matt and I woke up to go for a hike up Sharp Top- something we had not done since our first date six years prior.
On the way up, we stopped several times and honestly, I just wanted to turn around and begin the slow trek down. Nevertheless, we pressed on to enjoy the view from the top. Finally, we reached the top and the view was grand but the bugs were horrible. I let Matt go to the very top to snap a view pictures while I stayed near the cabin.
Then I noticed that I had four missed calls. On the way up, service was unavailable on my phone but at the top, standing on one foot and leaning just the right way, I could see that our adoption agency had been calling.
The past few months, they had told us about a sibling set needing a home but we were passed over twice for families that lived closer to the county working with them. Can imagine how excited I was over receiving the call that these same two kids were coming to live with us? -> ON MONDAY!
Monday sounded perfect! It was Friday so we would have the weekend to prepare for a whole new adventure to begin on MONDAY!
Excitement, hopefulness, nervousness, anxiety, and so many more emotions began to flow through our veins as we began our downward hike. Both of us were fearful of being let down... again. We had already thought these two children would be placed with us previously and hated to think we would be let down, another time. Matt even said, "They better not be jerking our chain, again!" The good news mixed into our "let down" was we had prepared for exactly these two children in June 2009 so everything was "ready!"
As we started down the mountain, Matt's phone picked up a faint signal. He answered the call, although he had to walk off the trail and basically up a tree just to hear the caller. It was our agency again stating that they wanted to bring the the kids that very night!
It was about 3:30 in the afternoon, we were over an hour from home and both in desperate need of showers. Not to mention, it would take at least forty-five minutes to get down the mountain. Oh, and by the way, our house was a MESS!
We ran down the mountain as fast as we could. (Which I highly discourage doing, my legs were cramping for over a week!) We prayed for safety as we dodged the rocks and tree roots! What an adventure! Only once did I feel like I would face plant if it weren't for a tree that I grabbed- so thankful for its perfect placement.
Once we reached the car, we were both dripping with sweat! I began making phone calls while Matt drove. Our adoption worker planned to be there with us at 6:30 and the kids would arrive at 7:00. A couple of friends, my sister, and even one of my sister's friends went to our house to start cleaning up. In hindsight, the dirty dishes and un-mopped floors were of little consequence.
After we got back home, Matt threw trash on the back of his truck. Then, he came running in saying that he needed stitches. Yes, blood was gushing up from his arm and asked, "Can you just put a band-aid on it?" No, a band-aid would NOT do.
While Matt went to the doc in a box, I jumped in the shower. As soon as I got out, our worker called to let us know that she wouldn't be there until after 7:00 and the kids wouldn't be there until after 8:00. Whew... a little more time... before my life changed forever.
I remembered that after we painted their rooms, we never put the locks back on the windows so our friend, Mike tackled that for us. I was so afraid that the worker would check the windows and say they couldn't stay OR think my house was too messy and they couldn't stay OR say something about Matt having to get the stitches and think we were suddenly unfit. And somehow, I even had time to wish that my dog had been freshly groomed.
After Matt got back from the doc in the box, we inhaled some spaghetti. At this point, we were starved! We signed paperwork and then the kids arrived!
When they pulled up, we all headed out the door. Before I knew it, I was face to face with a handsome little boy who immediately began talking (and hasn't stopped since) and introduced me to his toy, "Larry the Lobster" - only after that did he introduce himself. He was so eager to get into the house and look around that he smacked right into the clear glass storm door. I ran to his side, rubbing his head, and asking if he was okay. He was fine- that should have been a clue to how hard-headed he would be. ;)
We went in the living room to meet Sunny-puppy. His tail beat inside the cage as he lapped up the new sights and smells of unfamiliar people. And then, the sweetest girl I've ever seen popped around the corner. "What's hims name?" she asked in her squeaky voice. Both kids were beautiful and the thought of them ever leaving me already terrified me.
They brought in their trash bag full of clothes and checked out their new rooms and toys. Alec brought down a new Lego set and it was then he called me, "mommy." To say it shocked me is a vast understatement. My heart snatched in my throat. It took me a minute to realize that this was his fourteenth placement and I realized that he called whomever was taking care of him, mommy and daddy. I hoped for a day when he would call me mommy and mean it.
The workers left and there we were. The four of us in our new reality.
It hasn't been easy. None of it. No part. It's been hard. Extremely hard.
From the certification process to the waiting for a placement to the fear of having them ripped away to the insane court processes to begging God for this boy to behave for one whole day to realizing the things I lost by taking on this endeavor to finding out they could stay but we couldn't tell them... It's been the craziest ride of my life!
But it has been a blessing. The journey. Being able to see God move and work in the entire situation. Finding hope in the most broken moments. Hanging on, when throwing in the towel would have been so much easier. Gaining a new identity while providing two very hurt kids with unconditional love.
Yes, October 9, 2009 was just the first day of our forever...
Smile :) donnamusing