Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Chapter Closed

I started this process broken; defeated. My hope was but slivers of a single strand. I was ready to give up. I was ready to walk away. I would have never accepted a motherless life, but I thought I was made to try.

Yesterday, I sat back and watched a play-by-play of my own life-reel, in my head. Yesterday, Tyrus, legally, became a member of our family. Although the day, itself, changed nothing in my heart, it was an important conclusion to a very rocky, emotional, joyous love story. It was an ending that I needed to read.



I wish we could have been at court, in person, but the decision to handle our hearing via phone was made months ago in a small Colorado cabin with a newborn baby in arms. We were only thinking of going home, not when and if we'd return for the hearing, months later. Now, knowing that we are flying back to reunite with Rebekah in a few weeks, we'd have chosen differently. But it is what it is.

The director of our Colorado agency and our attorney were present, while we communicated over Ben's speaker phone. After receiveing a phone call last week about our "expired" home study (Michigan and Colorado adoption laws are very different) we freaked out that something might change - more work and money needed. We were holding our breath as Ben dialed.


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As we waited on hold for several minutes, these were some of the images that passed through my mind...


When I think about how we started and where we've come it moves me tears. Every time.


That lifeless girl with hallow emotions is gone. I feel whole. We feel whole. This is our family.

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The hearing itself was pretty no-nonsense, right-to-the-point. There were a couple surprises along the way, one being that Colorado does not recognize open adoption and our relationship with Rebekah is between us and left outside of the courthouse. I understand the state's reasons, it probably makes for a cleaner adoption, but it did make me feel sad for birth mothers who choose adoptive parents that don't hold to their word when it comes to openness. I'm curious to know if all states hold to the same law.

Second, the attorney motioned to change "Baby ______'s" name to Titus. We quickly stepped in with that correction. I found it comical because I happen to love the name Titus and had it on my list of baby names, but Ben wasn't a fan.

It was bizarre to hear Tyrus referred to as a baby available for adoption. In our minds he was adopted the day we left the hospital. It made us realize that our finalization was really us petitioning the court to let us keep calling him "son." When the judge declared it in Tyrus' best interest to be with us, a victory errupted in our hearts.


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I replayed our attorney's decree of adoption, "...it will be as if you had this child in your marriage...", over and over again in my heart. I will never take away Rebekah's part of this story. Ever. But there is something healing in those words. Ben and I couldn't have our own child, but now, it's as if we did. God certainly makes all things new. [Romans 4:17] He gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

My womb may be empty, but the word mother was alive in my heart and God called it into existence.

I'm not sure I've ever felt so whole.

My heart has many cries and our heavenly Father hears them all. Yesterday, he signed his name to my greatest cry and we know our life has only just begun.


God is still moving.

82 comments:

  1. oh that was so special...i am bawling! brings back the recent memories of our finalization day...we had ours video taped too...such a great momento!

    congrats again! so happy for your family!

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  2. Congratulations doesn't seem like a strong enough word right now! I have loved following your journey and being able to watch as Ty "officially" joined your family was amazing. I am sitting here with the happiest of tears rolling down my cheaks! Yay!!!

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  3. Love it!! It's amazing how moving and emotional Adoption Day is even though your child is already your child. Congrats to you, Ben and little Tyrus!!! :)

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  4. I am really happy for you. I think you guys make a beautiful family. Thank you very much for thinking about how open adoption isn't in the agreement. I don't think it's right, but I don't write the laws.

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  5. I couldn't help but have tears running down my face while reading and watching! We have been blessed to be at that point two times with our beautiful children and what an answer to prayer it is! Your faith challenges me, even before you knew about R and baby T and the trials of not having children your faith encouraged me! Congrats to you! May God continue to bless you!

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  6. I have to admit I'm sitting here crying! I well remember those emotions when Isaiah legally became ours. I think the language the judge used in our hearing was, "It will be from this day forward as if he was born to you."

    What a great idea to film this! If you had been in court in person you wouldn't have this recording because you can't have cameras or video cameras when court is in session, so it's actually really neat that you have it.

    May the Lord bless your family, Rebekah!

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  7. What a beautiful post! And congrats on the adoption being final. YAY!

    That is interesting that Colorado doesn't recognize open adoptions. It would be so hard for a birthmom if an adoptive mama didn't keep the promise of openness. I'm so happy that you and Rebekah have each other though. Congrats again!
    :-D

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  8. Awesome! Congrats! You three are such a cute family!

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  9. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!!! What a beautiful day!
    ~ Ana

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  10. Typing through tears. The lord is so amazing. Your journey did not go in vain. You are a mother, you have a son, Ben is a father!

    Praise the Lord!!!!

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  11. What an AWESOME day! YAY!!!

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  12. This post moved me to tears. I remember S's adoption day and it was definitely healing to hear the judge say that she is legally our daughter and its as if I gave birth to her. Our state does not enforce open adoptions either, but there are a few states that do. Congratulations and enjoy your day!

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  13. This post made me tear up, I am so happy for you that this process has finished, legally, and that there are no more legal stings left to tie. Congratulations on the finality.

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  14. Wow, I am wiping away tears with you! I am so happy for you guys- God is so good and faithful!!

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  15. Wow. I am sitting here crying as I read this. What an amazing way to capture a monumental day.

    So happy for all three of you.

    God Bless!

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  16. Oh Rebekah, this was absolutely beautiful. I read (and watched!) this with goosebumps and tears. So excited for you all!

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  17. I love the new look!

    This post is making me cry, Rebekah! What a day! And I am so glad you recorded it and took pictures and got Ty a special outfit! How adorable.

    I can't wait until I have one of these days myself.

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  18. Love the new blog look...love this story...love that little boy...love you and ben...as I read these words and watch the videos I am once again moved to tears. God is good.

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  19. Thank you for opening your heart and home and allowing us to be apart of such a special day! I cried tears of joy with you!!! God is so good and I'm so glad that he answered the cry of your heart! Such an amazing story and what a blessing Ty has been not only to you and your family...but all of us! God bless you and big hugs! Congrats again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  20. What a wonderful day. And he looks so cute on his special day.

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  21. Beautiful. Brought me tears as I myself am adopted. I was much older than Tyrus so I remember being in the courtroom and the judge telling me I officially have a mother and father. A family. Congrats to you and your husband.

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  22. Congratulations!! What a big day for all of you! Thank you so much for posting this -- it was wonderful to get to see such a special moment.

    Congratulations again!

    PS...I love how you had an Adoption Day tshirt made for Ty - I may have to borrow that idea for Zoe's adoption day, too :)

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  23. LOVE LOVE LOVE this! And all of you. I also love the new look..good job :) Linds

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  24. Congratulations and what a beautiful post! Perhaps it was better that it was done at home so you could take photos and video of this wonderful moment in the lives of you and your family. GORGEOUS post. How blessed you are!

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  25. My heart is bursting with happiness for your family right now! Congratulations! I have loved reading about your adoption journey, (my sister and brother are both adopted). And, I have loved seeing all the pictures of your adorable son, (our daughter is about a week younger than Tyrus). Thank you for documenting such a special story. "The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26 And, He has done just that! God is good.

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  26. Congrats!!! May god bless you and your beautiful family!!

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  27. THat was awesome! I am bawlin up in here! LOVE it - thank you so much for sharing!

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  28. What a great post and thank you for sharing. How precious. Congrats is all I can say...You have a real nack at telling your journey. Im not a crier, and I don't even "know" you but am touched and teary eyed...Ty is so lucky to have you guys as parents...

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  29. Tearing up! What a beautiful journey, and I feel so blessed to have been sharing it with you. Congrats to you all!

    I love the new blog, it looks fantastic!!!

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  30. I'm crying, too! Waiting for a baby right now feels like we will never get to that day, but I know my God is faithful. Thank you for letting him use you!

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  31. Oh Rebekah, what a wonderful post, CONGRATULATIONS!! I haven't played the videos yet because my speakers aren't working at the moment, but I will come back to check them out ASAP.

    I'm so happy for you and I know exactly what you mean about feeling healed now, especially after hearing those words of closure from the judge.

    I'm SO happy for you - what a beautiful family you have!

    Hugs, my friend!

    Melba

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  32. okay - bawling over here...

    Congratulations you guys!

    (I think all states work that way with open adoption - it's not something that can legally be enforced.)

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  33. I feel so privileged that you shared this story. Thank you for letting me (and all of your readers) be a part of your journey. I'm smiling a little bit bigger today.

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  34. I think we are all crying right with you in these videos. I know I am. I cant believe it. This post brought back many memories for me as well. I cant wait to see you this April.

    LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!

    R

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  35. congratulations ~ tears are just streaming down my face. i feel that we missed out so much on not being in OR for Milo's finalization. we weren't even able to do it over the phone ~ actually i didn't even find out until a few days later!! i just started crying ~ i wish it had been different, but the day he was finalized we were walking in the "walk of hope" so i guess we celebrated and didn't even know it. :)
    i'm so happy for all of you ~ what an incredibly special day! :)

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  36. Wow! Congratulations!! My son's finalization was on Monday! What a wonderful week! There is no better feeling is the world, is there?

    BTW - love the shirt!

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  37. I love this story!! God is so so good!! Congratulations!!!!
    . . .and I love the new look!

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  38. It looks like a huge congratulations is in order!! I stumbled across your blog today and was instantly glued. Adoption is dear to my heart as well. My twin sister went through the process a couple years ago. Although they went with an international adoption, it's still one in the same :) What a process. I remember her calling me so many times saying I just can't do this anymore! The wait and suspense is almost unbearable. But after only a year they were able to go get their son that God had chosen for them from Guatemala. So congrats on having it "official" now. What a blessing. Our God is so good. I want to leave you with this little poem my sister has in her house. Thought it was so fitting for you. Blessings~

    Adoption Poem

    Not flesh of my flesh nor bone of my bone, but still miraculously my own.
    Never forget for a single minute, you didn't grow under my heart, but in it.
    ~Fleur Conkling Heyliger

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  39. OK I was doing FINE until the group hug, thanks a lot...now I can't stop crying! :) It was so sweet to catch a glimpse of your special little family moment. I love how Ty just sat there so quietly, watching the table and you guys.

    Wow, this is powerful stuff! Real life families are being created one by one (including our own!!) and we are front and center, how amazing!

    I can't say it enough, I am SO very happy for all three of you. What a momentous day!

    Hugs,

    Melba

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  40. Thank you for sharing this precious moment. I feel so blessed to be able to witness (with tears!) your journey.

    xoxoxo

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  41. VERY CUTE SHIRT! CONGRATULATIONS ON EVERYTHING! I KNOW IT IS SUCH A RELIEF TO HAVE IT DONE AND LEGAL! GOD BLESS!

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  42. lol, i would have felt like that too "that's it?" :)


    it meant the world to you guys though. i am glad it is all done and that ty is viewed by EVERYONE as your son.

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  43. Cograts! It is such a special day! One to be remembered and cherished forever.

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  44. This is beautiful! You make adoption look so simple. Praising God with you. He has done awesome things!

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  45. Your blog looks incredible and I love the I <3 Heart Cries button...going to post it on my blog. )

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  46. As I congratulate you on an end of one chapter and a beginning of a new one tears of joy stream down my face!! I may have never met you and Ben or Rebekah or Ty my heart knows your pain and the journey you've been on and the joy this journey brings!! I remember the flood of emotions the finalization of our daughter's adoption brought forth and I am forever grateful for every painful moment that lead to this wonderful end!

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  47. Love the last video! Hearing those words brought back so many emotions for me. Thank you for sharing that. Congratulations to you guys on a day to remember.

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  48. Congratulations!
    Once again, the way you are able to put words together in such an honest way and how you are able to share your experience is inspiring- especially while my husband and I wait to be matched... Thank you.

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  49. You are such a beautiful person, inside and out. I'm over the moon for you guys that the chapter is closed and you can all start a new one, with Rebekah alongside you all the way.

    love you girl,
    x

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  50. A million smiles across this adoptive mama face for you all!!!!!
    Priceless and precious!!

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  51. We are so so so vry happy for you, Ben and Little Ty!!! I had tears in my eyes with all the videos. We can't wait to bring home our little boys!! Congrats!!!
    We serve an AWESOME GOD!!!

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  52. Thank you for sharing this beautiful moment with me. Thank you for sharing your joy.

    I am just elated for all of you!

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  53. I don't know you (although when I heard "Michigan" I felt a little closer, as I grew up there). I got a link to your post from someone on Twitter. But you had me crying at work. What a wonderful family. What a wonderful time. Congratulations!

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  54. Congratulations. He is so handsome!

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  55. Congratulations! I agree that the upside of doing it by phone is having the video that you wouldn't otherwise have. What an awesome moment - thanks for sharing it with us!

    Love the T-shirt! Where did you get it?

    Love the new look of your site!

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  56. Just beautiful, Rebekah! Every photo, every moment, every word -- beautiful! Congratulations! What a gorgeous family you have.

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  57. What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your special day with us. What a blessing little Tyrus is!

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  58. Oh my goodness. Thank you so much for sharing such a special time in your lives with all of us out in blogging land. What a beautiful story for all of us to watch unfold. God is GOOD!

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  59. Wow thanks for sharing! There are so many unknowns so it's very cool to know how a finalization hearing goes!

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  60. Love it! Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing! May your family continue to be blessed!

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  61. Thank you so much for sharing I watched the blog and you were making me tear. I am almost there with the adoption process and can't wait until I go through the same thing and it is finalized. That is so exciting and awesome and was so great to watch. :)

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  62. Beautiful post. Most states don't legally honor open adoptions. I've even heard of agencies that set up a binding agreement for the first five years that the adoptive parents honor and then disappear. I can't begin to understand why a parent would agree to open adoption and then disappear.

    Congratz on getting to still call Ty your son!

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  63. Thank you so much for sharing your story...it was so touching & brought tears to my eyes. It was inspiring & also brought me hope that our story will end in such a happy way...:) From another Rebecca!

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  64. Is it time for a new video of Ty soon? He is just so darn cute.

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  65. Ohhh, that last video is amazing...I was starting to cry and then laughed out loud at Tyrus's face in the group hug!!! So, so adorable. To think that he'll be able to watch this video someday is simply beautiful. Congratulations!

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  66. Interesting post as for me. It would be great to read more about this topic. Thanks for giving that material.

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  67. How perfectly wonderful. I'm so happy for you all!

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  68. This is the first time I've commented before. I can't even begin to express with words what I'm feeling. I am beyond thrilled, overjoyed, and feel so blessed to have been able to share YOUR journey with you. Thank you for allowing us this glimpse into your life. Congratulations.

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  69. Just delurking to say congratulations- finalization sure is a special day! I enjoy following your blog and seeing your little Tyrus growing.
    If you want to check out my blog, feel free to email me at ana1968@sbcglobal.net and I'll send you an invite:)

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  70. amazing. thank you for always being so willing to share your story with us! i was in tears watching such a special occasion for your beautiful family. you have two amazing men in your life! such a beautiful family. it's so cool to see how much your little man has grown. thank you for sharing, and a million congratulations and blessings to you and your family.

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  71. What an amazing post ~ thank you for sharing such a beautiful and intimate moment with your family. Yes...I'm crying tears of happiness for you too.

    Our God is so great!

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  72. Amen and amen!!! Congrats to your family on this most wonderful moment. God is so good.

    Blessings!

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  73. I'VE GIVEN YOU AN AWARD...CHECK OUT MY BLOG TODAY!

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  74. Believe me, I know the feeling, as our finalization was this past Wednesday. I'm still absorbing it, which is why I haven't posted about it yet.... but I will.

    Happiest congratulations!!
    Allie

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  75. This was soooo beyond beautiful to watch!!!! definitely had me tearing up!! :) i'm glad we got to talk on saturday. things are going really well! and it DEFINITELY looks like things are going well for your family! i'll stop by soon! :)

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  76. Yay yay yay!! So happy for you, Ben, and Ty!! What a great idea to video tape the phone call! I can't wait for that moment...I know that it will be here soon! Thank you so much for giving me hope and peace of mind! You are an inspiration to all of us "waiting" mothers! Thank you so much for sharing your journey!

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  77. thank you for sharing your videos with us. i know that was an extremely personal moment, but i think the videos made it more than just words on a computer screen - we could actually see God's faithfulness & goodness through your family.

    - michelle

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  78. Thank you for posting these videos! I have tears streaming down my face...I'm so happy for you and I'm so excited for us because someday soon: "...it will be as if you had this child in your marriage..."

    Thank you and God bless you guys!

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