Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Adoption Day

Our family with the judge:

The name:

The first name (pronounced uh-LEE-ah)is Hebrew for ascend or exalted, and we pray that is exactly what will happen: her little life will become God's shining glory, a story of his healing and love, a story that exalts Him, and lifts her. Her middle name is a piece of her birth name (the birth name had -lyn tacked on the end of it), and it's what she's been called since birth even though her given name was a little longer. That fits perfectly because all of my girls' names start with "k". Plus I do like to keep a part of what their birth moms have given them. I typically call her the double name, and Grace has followed suit. Most everyone else just sticks with the middle name. And that's perfect. If asked, Charity actually says she prefers a pet name, (ka - ty - bug). I think that's because no one has ever used it negatively. Smart girl!

I have so much to catch you up on with Charity. She has been officially diagnosed with RAD, now, and we are SO thankful to have a therapist who actually gives a flip, (yes we've had one that didn't), and who seems to know just how Charity's brain works. She doesn't let Charity get away with any of her manipulation games or lying or "forgetting" her manners or whining. She has high expectations and holds Charity to them. All the while genuinely loving her, caring for her, and helping me to do the same. Oh, I always loved, but with a RADish, love just isn't enough. Typical parenting doesn't work. And I'm so thankful we finally have a therapist who is working with our family! What a huge difference from this day when I totally took a nose dive and was about ready to give up.

On with the adoption day! Charity had said in therapy that she did not want to change her name. And her therapist and I both inferred that she actually just didn't want to be adopted. Armed with ideas from her therapist, Charity and I talked diligently, worked on her life book, helped her understand the process and what adoption really means, and worked at getting to the root of the problem. I gave her some options, like not changing anything but her last name. Nope. The last name was what she wanted to keep. Non-negotiable in my book. Finally one night as I was going over all that would happen at court, explaining to her what the judge would say and grant us a family, she said, "What if he says no?"

Can you hear her fear? That baby is no stranger to court. She knows what happens there. People leave. New people take you away. The judge just might say "no." So I bawled. Blown away by her fear and that she would share it with me. Oh, my sweet baby girl.

Charity's adoption happened in a little court house nearly 5 hours from our home, and since we had to be there at 9 a.m. we set out the day before and stayed in a hotel where the girls could swim. We spent the evening before swimming, celebrating, and loving our time together. At court Charity did not become obnoxious or over-the-top giggly or any of the things we typically see when she's nervous. She clung to her daddy who had told her so gently that he would not let anyone take her away, and that he would be right there with her the whole time (you know, when I couldn't stop crying and get it together to say anything in response to her fear). She did fabulous. Now Christmas is another story, but I was happy to watch her conquer a trip, and fear like that! Ah. mazing. We are so blessed to get to be her family and a part of her life!

Swim time:


Lisa said...

Absolutely beautiful!!!! I am blubbering over Charity's fears. Blubbering.

Yahoo for a therapist that gets it!!!!

Now who is the new little one???? Did I miss something?

cmbbyrd said...

This post made me cry. My sister (Brandi Byrd Womack) also finalized the adoption of her twin foster girls on December 15th - 3 yrs to the day from when we got them! God is good. I am so happy for your family.

annieology said...

Yay! I'm hoping for a birthday miracle this year. Or at least this year.

Maury said...

I just smile everytime I look at that photo of Blessing and Charity. It is just beautiful. You have 6 beautiful, precious daughters, and I am so proud, and excited for your family. I know this was the most awesome Christmas present ever, and so happy the Lord answered your prayer, and gave her day 1st. She does so deserve that.

Jeff said...

Wonderful post! But please don't give us any more pictures of TJ with his shirt off. Urp.

Mandy said...

Tears flowing... beautiful!!!!