But the day that is actually dearest to my heart is what I think of as the "Real" Promise Day.
Five years ago today, Steve and I committed to the adoption of Cupcake. We promised to make her our daughter.
We had no idea of the enormity of our decision. We did not suspect the uncertainty and pain that her adoption process would inflict on us. We were about to be swept under the deep waters of unforeseen circumstances. We did not understand the sacrifice and work it would take to make her whole once she came home. None of this was clear at the time.
But this one thing, we knew...She was ours. Absolutely. Without a doubt. No question.
This knowledge - it carried us through. When all seemed lost - multiple times, we knew that God's hand was on her. His hand was all over this. As more and more calamities befell us, we held on to this truth.
She is ours.
We didn't know how things would turn out. We didn't know if she would ever come home. But we knew that we were forever linked to this special girl.
I'm not sure I ever shared the story of how we knew. It's a good one. :-)
Friday, April 14, 2006, we got a call from our agency. She told me that they had gotten three "baby girls" in and we were next in line. We could have our choice. Only, the lawyer that was handling these three was going to cost an extra $2000 from their stated "average fee". They assured me that he was their best lawyer and because he really worked hard, he would probably be worth the extra cost. (Side note: Our agency was awesome. His price was in the range they quoted, but he was at the higher end. He was indeed worth the extra money.)
I'm a born and bred bargain hunter, and adoption expenses are already crazy high. And she had said "baby girls". We were hoping for a 4-6 year old. After talking for a while, I decided that we would wait and see if they would get a girl in with one of the less expensive lawyers. She told me they would put the babies on the photolisting that afternoon and call us when another girl came in.
My heart skipped a beat. I called Steve and told him to jump on the computer now. He did. We both agreed that we thought she was the one. I hung up and called the agency back. I asked for all the information they had on her. It wasn't much. We had a birth certificate, some blood tests results and minimal family information. The only thing that gave us pause was the fact that she was only 2.5. We were pretty sure God called us to adopt a 4-6 year old. (This scared the bejeepers out of me when things went south and it looked like it might take years to get her home. In the end, it was a HUGE confirmation that Cupcake was meant to be ours. She came home at 4.5.)
Since it was the day before Easter weekend, we could have the weekend to pray about it. We sent an email to each of our parents on Friday evening.
Steve's parents had occasionally discussed some of the kids we were considering, but they had always stepped back and allowed us the freedom to figure this out for ourselves. This time, however, Steve's parents called on Saturday. They excitedly told Steve, "She's the one! We'll pay the extra $2000!"
Cool! That was a nice confirmation of our thoughts. :-)
I had been sending pictures of potential kids to my mom for months. I had never received a reply. Nada. No questions. No concerns. No excitement. (She was very excited about the adoption, just not the kids we had shown her.) So she called on Sunday. She said, "Hey. I'm on my way out to Aunt Harriet's for Easter. I had your brother blow up an 8x10 picture of my little granddaughter. I'm going to show everyone." When I explained that we hadn't actually committed to her, my mom replied, "She's the one! I'll pay the extra $2000! Just make sure you call them today!"
"Mom, it's Easter. They're not open." :-)
Okay, that was wild! Confirmation from both parents in a serious way!
We prayed all weekend, but we knew. Monday, we spent the day trying to find out if we could get any medical information or a developmental report. They really had nothing since she had just come in to foster care. It's scary not knowing anything about the person who would become our child.
On Tuesday, April 18, 2006, we committed to Cupcake. We promised God (and our agency) that we would stick by this child. We would love and defend her. We would be her advocates. We would be her Mom and Dad. Forever. We would never leave her.
As I said, we had NO IDEA how that commitment would be tested. We had NO IDEA how important this confirmation was to our emotional and spiritual lives. God did something spectacular so that we could hold on to this hope in the worst storms we have ever faced.
That day - the day we promised to be there for Cupcake - that day- our world changed. That day, we changed, and we have never been the same. This is the day that I celebrate in my heart with such great joy and gladness. This is what God looks like when He moves among men. When I reflect on all He's done, I can't help but worship Him. So thankful for His blessing. :-)
Happy Real Promise Day, Sweetheart!
Blessings to you,