Yesterday was the day we finalized the adoption in court. The night before I couldn't sleep. I wasn't nervous I was just curious to know what that day would feel like. The morning came full of peace and ease. Finley was in the best of moods as we scooped her out of her bed and brought her into ours for the morning. Ferrill and I lay there looking at each other while she cooed and said to one another "we did it. The day is finally here." We sipped coffee with a side of victory.
At 11:20 we were sworn in by the judge stating our names, address and that we are responsible for caring for now baby "Gallaway" and no longer her previous name. It was a moment of great pride as we replied a firm yes to their questions. "Do you understand your obligations to this child as of this day forward?" "Yes." "Do you understand this child will be able to inherit as if your own nature born child?"Yes" To be honest it all happened in a flash. The judge stamped loudly our paperwork, we took a few pictures and we were done. Just like that, we were finally done. Finley managed to stay awake for the appearance and passed out immediately afterwards. We walked down the long long hallways of the courthouse to leave as I heald her and I felt as though a heavy coat was being taken off of me. suddenly my pace felt a little quicker than before, my heart freer than it had been. It felt official finally. Perhaps somewhere in my mind layed a seed of concern that someone may show up and undue this beautiful thing .That my new family was still in jeopardy. But no one and nothing did. And today began a brand new day. Today is the first day that after one and a half years I am no longer "in the process of adoption." Today and for the rest of my life I am the mother to a beautiful girl named Ms. Finley Elizabeth Gallaway.
As if everyday doesn't have its own special moments, ive grown fond of having specific ones. Ill be someplace were suddenly I vividly remember being there before while my heart was going through all its troubles. One in particular is in my back yard sitting in a lawn chair staring up into a tree looking to find a raccoon I named Craig. When id left my previous job to start staying home with the april baby and it didn't wok out I would sit out there for hours watching that silly raccoon. Feeling mostly pathetic that this was what my great adventure had come too and trying to keep my mind off of the situation. Only the other day I took a minute to relax in that chair,I looked up searching for Craig whod left my tree for a better one months ago and I had a flash back to that time only to have it swiftly swept away by the faint cries of a waking babe. I pause to take in those special redeeming moments and give thanks.
Last New Years I journaled a promise from the Lord. He told me "at the end of this year you will laugh." So many times this one phrase was the hope I held onto, when things got bad id often look to the sky and mumble "im not laughing God!" his quick rebuttal was always "then it isn't over yet." I hope her presence in my life always reminds me to choose to say yes to what God is asking of me, knowing that he has this INCREDIBLE and perfect plan that I can trust in. I could have said no. That though is sickening to me. God would have allowed me to say no and I would have missed out on all of this. I hope when the next task comes (because it certainly will) that he finds my heart eagerly waiting and ready ,allowing his perfect love to cast out any fear.
So this is the end you guys (and really the beginning) but you know what I mean. I don't know when i'll write or share publicly like this again. (oh dear. im tearing up... wow I didn't see this coming) its just how can I possibly thank you enough. For your time,for your thoughts and prayers? For your giving? For your interest in us at all. Many of you walked with us through this and often I found comfort in your words and in your friendship. Thank you for everything, from the bottom of my heart,thank you.
"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most o us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief or bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing ,and face with us the reality of our powerlessness.This is a friend who cares. -Henry JM Nouwen