Monday, April 6, 2015

We Asked... An overdue story.

We knew that Miss A was ready for adoption. She would talk about the future years with the assumption that she was ours and we were hers. But when it came down to being able to actually say the words that fourteen year olds must say, she couldn't quite voice that she wanted to be adopted. 

Amos and I felt it important that she knew that we LOVED and WANTED her, and that it wasn't a favor we were doing or a work of charity or anything of the sort. She is a blessing in our life, and we didn't ever want her to think that we were anything but grateful for her. 

We decided to tell her so.  

Early on a Sunday morning, I packed a tub of chalk into my purse and snuck off to the park where we first laid our eyes on our precious kiddos. I walked to the exact spot we stood waiting to visit with her social worker, unaware that our daughter was literally within reach of us. 

I spent a few minutes sketching out a simple message:

From the moment we first saw you... We have loved you.

Amos and I had planned this day for weeks, and I was so nervous and unsure of how the events would unfold. I was nervous that this would be too grand a gesture for our A... nervous that is would be too small. Nervous that we were wrong, and that she didn't really want adoption, and that we would make her feel terrible for saying no... or trapped into saying yes.

After church, we left four of our kids with my parents and headed out for an afternoon with Miss A. 

The day began with brunch at a "fancy" restaurant. It was outside of Miss A's comfort zone, and I was sure we'd made it too obvious that we had a plan in the works. 

Afterward lunch, we faked a necessary run to the next town over and a "spur of the moment" visit to the park. She had just been asking us the day before to go, so it was an easy sell.  

We walked around the pond, did a little swinging, and then headed to the car where we had left a board game. I suggested that we sit at the picnic tables to play for a while. After a skeptical look, Miss A obliged and followed us toward our proposal spot.

We gave her a moment to notice the colors on the ground, read her name, and realize that her entire day had been carefully planned for this moment.

Then Amos presented the ring we had searched for. We told her that we loved her, that we were incredibly blessed that God sent her to us, and that we didn't want her anywhere else but with us in our family. Then we asked her if we could adopt her as our true, forever daughter. I watched her eyes begin to well.

And then...

We waited...

And waited...

After a minute or ummmms and oh my goodnesses.... , I suggested that we sit and play our game. It was an incredibly awkward half hour. The question was out there, unanswered. Amos and I weren't able to talk about how to proceed except for a few glances. We joked and played our board game, but we were really just waiting to see what happened next.

We packed up the game pieces, and I held back to let Amos take the lead. We walked back to our spot, and after a moment, Amos asked gently, "So what do you think?" She said, "I think... YES"

Amos placed the ring on Miss A's finger. We hugged, we cried, and we took pictures. Then we headed to our favorite coffee shop (where we'd taken A on Meetcha Day) to celebrate.

I knew that our sweet girl felt special, but I wasn't sure if she'd given us a yes freely until I started to hear her tell other people about her ring and the proposal. From then on, it was easy to talk with Miss A about name changes, about how we thought life would be outside the system, about our dreams for the future of our family.

We are still waiting for a court date to be scheduled, but we all have peace. Adoption isn't an IF anymore. It's only a matter of WHEN.