Tuesday, July 5, 2016

819 Days

We had such a wonderful Forth of July long weekend and I've got way too many pictures to share. I loved seeing how everyone was celebrating on social media. But, by far, the best picture I saw all weekend was this one...

It looks like three ordinary siblings putting up with a photo for mom, right? And it is. But it's also more. You see, the youngest, Leigh was (finally!!!) officially adopted by the Blackard family last week. She'd been in their care for 819 days - almost her entire life - and it was a long, tedious, stressful but, ultimately, so worth it journey for them to become a family of five.

Isn't it amazing how God makes families in so many ways? Lately I've spoken to several friends and friends-of-friends who are just beginning to examine how God may be growing their families whether through adoption or medical assistance or just patience to see how the desire that He planted in their hearts for children will work out.

Whether the journey begins in a test tube, a waiting room, a foster care placement or with a connection through a profile book, God has a perfect plan. He has taken what began as a hard and painful situation and made it beautiful. Just as He's done from the beginning of time in the Garden of Eden, the redemption offered to His children is a story of grace and love. Of perfection out of imperfection.

And how can you get more perfect than three precious siblings bound together by love? As big sis Katelyn said, "I have a sister forever. I get to grow up with her for the rest of my life!"

These sisters bonded from the get-to. I took this picture of Katelyn and Leigh shortly after Leigh joined their family in the spring of 2014 at one of Witt's baseball games right before we moved to Greenville. Oh how I miss these precious children! 

I love that Leigh and Caroline will share adoption stories and that our families have walked through each other's adoption journeys. Kristen and I talk a lot about the appropriate way to answer questions from strangers. How we don't want our child's story to enter the room before they do. How you can immediately tell when someone is genuinely interested in adoption versus when they are just being nosy and may say something inappropriate in front of your child. (It is truly shocking the things strangers will say and ask)! 

Thank you, Kristen, for insisting on becoming friends with the guy who lived next door (even though he had no "real" dishes and there was a coin-operated washer and dryer on the carport that stayed there way too long)! I'm so glad you made him come over to supper the night you and Chad moved in to your first house! 

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