It has been just over two years since we saw this little boy's face and he became part of our heart. We have known he is our son, one of our own, a part of our family for a very long time, but now we also have a piece of paper to prove it. Today he is officially a SCHACK.
Today was an exciting day that had implications that even our oldest understood. He insisted on wearing his best clothes and I had no argument over showers this morning and wearing the "uncomfortable" black shoes. The boys' energy was undeniable - I know this because they were literally bouncing off the walls - no seriously, more than once one of them climbed up or jumped off a wall. They were excited to meet the judge, have their family and friends surrounding them, and most importantly they were both very excited that Tope would finally have Schack in his name.
The judge was the sweetest lady. She had a confident and soothing voice and was full of smiles for this occasion. She even kept her calm as Tope decided he should try to talk over and over again into the microphone sitting in front of him (the recorder wasn't so happy, ha! maybe because it is hard to write in short hand a young boy that is mumbling, blowing into a mic, and saying Mama over and over).
We sat through the court hearing that took all of 5 minutes, and I cried just about the whole time. Years of emotions flooded through my memory bank and all I could think of was how much I love this little boy and how blessed I am that I have the chance to be his Mother. I realized a weight felt like it was lifted off of my shoulders today, a weight that I probably knew was there but have dealt with it for such a long time I've just become accustomed to it. Very happy to be rid of it today.
We were surrounded by our family and friends. Tope was tickled that they were all there for Him. :)
Tope's kindergarten teacher (also Caleb's teacher last year). We love her!
Jill, Maude & Olive help babysit the boys. Olive got us through the summer while I taught voice lessons. The boys adore her! So glad they could be with us.
Lorrin is our social worker at Catholic Charities. It has been really great working with her, she really cares about our family.
Grandpa and Grandma were all smiles today. So great having them there!
Oma gave lots of hugs from her and Opa. We missed him today as he had to be at work, but we understand and will return the hugs soon!
Before the courthouse visit, we made our celebration muffins and enjoyed quiet time as a family this morning as a family of four. Following the courthouse, we went and ate a meal with the Grandparents at Applebees. Here I gave Tope his first quilt made by me, his Mom - such a special occasion to give it to him. I made it out of superhero material, one of his favorite things. Can't wait to see him all cuddled in with his new blanket. (The picture is of his new pillowcase that matches!)
Thank you for ALL of the support you have all given us on this journey. We cannot express enough how blessed we have been by all of YOU. Our journey is far from over. We do not feel our family is completed, so I expect there is some more "waiting" in store, but as of now this wait, although long, was one of the best things to have ever happened to us, and we couldn't have gotten through it all without your love, thoughts, and prayers. We lift our hearts and thanks to God as well for leading us on this journey.
Adoption rocks! It's not perfect, but what is? We are so in love. This is good good stuff.