Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Crown of Life

As I cleared out my phone alerts, before bed, last night, I thanked God for the peace in my heart and clicked on the scripture of the day. James 1:12:

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Our case worker had visited earlier in the night, adjusting my expectations of how court would go, today. The white man who couldn't possibly be Sweet Boy's father was a no-show for his DNA test, but another man had surfaced from the past, demanding additional DNA work and possible custody.

I knew that resolution wouldn't come, today, but I was able to sleep without heaviness. I can, honestly, say (probably for the first time in my life), I trust God. Fully. Even if that outcome ends, tragically, for our family, I know God will have purpose. I'm sure I've never reached this state of peace before, but I like it and refuse to let it go.

We sang a song in church, last week, that I haven't heard in years ("If You Say Go"). The chorus has been running on loop for me, this week:
If You say step out on the water
And they say it can't be done
We'll fix our eyes on You and we will come
This morning, I drove the hour to the courthouse in silence. All by myself. Reflecting; thinking; praying. A few minutes outside the city, I whispered, "Lord...I am asking for a miracle, today."

We got our miracle. I wish I could reveal confidences and share every last detail so that you would know what we were up against...but the monster couldn't stand in the presence of our God.

I cried through the entire hearing.

After the judge was done terminating all "known and unknown fathers" for Sweet Boy, he asked to address me. He acknowledged my presence in the courtroom every month over the last year and noted that I was the one doing the "real work". He thanked me for giving Sweet Boy an environment of love and stability, while the legalities were worked out. He hoped that I understood why the process was so lengthy and why "right" is necessary in place of "rushed."

I don't understand why the process was so drawn out nor why every grace was extended to convicted criminals, while my baby battled for his life...every day...desperate for normalcy and permanency. 
That being said, I appreciated the judge's address.

I walked out of the courtroom, thanking God for his goodness, and leaving the burden of injustice at the door. I called Ben and sent my text messages, but the only person I really wanted to talk to was Sweet Boy. I could  hardly wait to tell him.

As soon as everyone was buckled in from school pick-up, I turned around and said, "I had the BEST day and I have SUPER news!"

When I told Sweet Boy that the judge told me, today, that we could adopt him, his smile lit up the backseat and he said, "You mean it? I'm, a real Pinchback, now!?!?"

His excitement was contagious and I cried the rest of the way home.

One victory down; one more to go.

Both belong to the Lord.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

This guy turned five, today!
His teacher told me it was a "no tear" day (progress) to which he responded, "It's because I'm five, now!"

I couldn't be more proud.

In the last nine months, I have seen this tenacity and commitment to persevere. A couple of weeks ago we taught the boys to ride their bikes without training wheels. Sweet Boy was the only one willing to try over and over and over, again, until he was riding with ease. As I ran alongside him, I heard his quiet chant "practice makes perfect - practice makes perfect - practice makes perfect..."

He's unassuming by nature, but his determination is unparalleled and seems to be fueled by a desperation to thrive. I thank God for his quiet, fighting spirit...he wouldn't have survived his circumstances without it.

I love all of my kids without debate, but I feel something special for Sweet Boy. His fight for normalcy has left deep wounds, but he never stops pushing through...and, all the while, he does it with a little song in his heart.

We turned DNA testing into a "date day with mom" and I soaked in the special one-on-one time that included making one very sprinkle-y birthday cake and learning how to kiss like a fish.

Our relationship has taken the most work, but that is, exactly, what makes it the most rewarding. I am so very grateful for the creativity in our story. I am thankful for the hardships and setbacks and emotional cliffs...because without them, I wouldn't be as kind, patient, or forgiving. And my heart wouldn't love without borders.

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. 
Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)