Sunday marked one year since bringing home our new lovies.
Even though we hit this same mark with LJ, I am still surprised at how significant it is. Something happens at one year that smooths the remaining wrinkles and fills your heart with much hope for the future.
We were reading our devotional for the night that focused on bravery and the importance of trying new things. When I asked each boy of a time when they had to be brave, Sweet Boy, was quick to share that he conquered his fear of riding his bike without training wheels, this summer. Tyrus piped in, "Mom, that's called being a risk-taker." (Earlier in the night, he looked at Ben and, referring to me, said, "Dad, doesn't she look cute with a ponytail?" I'm not sure if the age of his soul is 5 or 25 at this point.)
After each boy had a turn, Sweet Boy said, "I was brave when I had to ride in the police car to my middle house with my bag of stuff next to me." We have talked about this moment a hundred times over the last year, but it never fails to bring tears to my eyes.
"I know, honey. That was SUPER brave."
The conversation turned, quickly, to our upcoming court hearing where Sweet Boy will be given our name. I ordered all of us t-shirt jerseys that say "Team Pinchback". The boys are very excited to wear their own, as their names and numbers are on the back. We talked about how much fun the day will be, when someone asked if Little Miss would get her jersey that day.
The conversation was very organic and accepted with a level of maturity that surprised me. We talked about Little Miss and her parents. What could happen, as well as what most likely will happen. We talked about drugs and alcohol and how they cause people to make poor decisions.
"Mom, what is their mom's name, again?" Ty asked.
When I told him, his answer was so sweet and innocent, "But, mom....she doesn't sound bad?"
It was the perfect opportunity to explain how good people make bad decisions. As our conversation weaved in and out, Ty made a point of asking "So there are bugs in the drugs that start eating your brain that make you make poor choices?"
Their summary may not have been exactly on point...but their take-away was.
We talked a lot about the importance of good family and how all the parents represented by our kids (minus Miss Rebekah) didn't have that. When the firehouse of questions ended, mostly regarding Missy's dad, Sweet Boy said, "We should pray for him."
For a moment, time stood still and I marveled at his depth of love.
Over the year, we took as many steps forward as we did back. We had to push through forced feelings; learn how to process delicate memories; overcome nightmares, anxiety, loss; sledgehammer walls of lies and negative influence; and walk a careful line of expressing affection.
But, today...one year later...it was all worthwhile. He is one of us.
And I've never met someone so brave.