Here We Go Again...Gotcha Day!

Lincoln,

It is 3:07am and I am sitting in a hallway at work keeping an eye on sleeping kiddos and imagining what tomorrow night and every night after will look like. This journey you and I have been on has been decades in the making little one. 

The truth of the matter is that I have been planning for today since I was eight years old. I really do remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Sunday afternoon and I was standing on a curb outside of the church where your great-grandpa preached. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping, yet my heart was heavy. A children's choir from the Hillcrest Children's Home in Tennessee had visited for the weekend. Two things stick out about those two days. The first is that I remember being a bit jealous of them because they got to have sleepovers every night. The second was the impact their stories had on me then and what they have on my life (and your's) now. My little heart was making a promise to God that I would one day adopt a little boy or girl who needed a family. God was working on me even at a very young age. So if you ever doubt that you are loved please understand that God was planning for you thirty-three years before you were born. If you ever doubt God's purpose in the very young please look at where you are now.

My promise had always been in the back of my mind. I was so blessed to have been given the chance to carry your big brothers. I will have stories of miracles and heartaches to tell you about when you're older, but I'll say that it was in one of my darkest times when I knew that I could no longer carry babies on my own that God very clearly reminded me of my promise. I knew in that moment that this was always His intent. After all, my promise was never about me. It was about you.

The first memory I have of the tug you had on my heart was when I held you and rocked you to sleep when you were about nine months old. I cuddled you and sang "Somewhere Out There." You were out in less than half of the song. I just continued singing and something in my heart swelled. I understand now why that was. I have taken care of many babies over the years. This was so very different. We would not meet again, however, for another year.

Today is your "gotcha day." It is now 9:57pm on your first night with us and I just rocked you to sleep. I sang "Baby of Mine" while you slept . As you were falling asleep you reached both of your arms up and hugged me close. This was a first. It erased any anxiousness I had left about diving deep back into Tonka trucks, Little Einsteins, super heroes, early mornings, dirty hands, huge messes (including, but not limited to frogs, dirt, bugs, and very yucky noses), and the uncertainty that I'm sure is coming. I should feel like a seasoned pro by this point, but as with raising my other children, I worry about screwing it all up. I'm positive every parent feels this way. Your big blue eyes are closed now and you, little man, are snoring peacefully. I think this could work.

It has now been a month and so far we've had high fevers, a hospital visit, and a ton of hours of me and your brothers chasing your giggling self throughout the house trying to get you changed, dressed, fed, and simply playing hide and seek and tag. Your laughter is infectious. I am in awe of the bond you already have with your older brothers. Sebastian cannot wait to see you and comes by just to hang. He even brought friends by to show you off. Watching he and a friend attempting to get you in a shirt was priceless. You took on two grown men and won. Kudos, Kid. Watching Chancellor toss you in the air, when just a few short months ago he was terrified to even pick you up melts me. I think we can do this.

It is 3:30pm and I am watching you nap on the couch. We've got our schedule down and have gotten into a rhythm. You call me Bapa. I have no idea what this means, but I love it. We're a couple of months in and I honestly can hardly remember life before you. You seem to feel very much at home with us, with me. Our lives have been turned upside down. Our house usually looks like a tornado blew through it. I've unwittingly memorized every character from Caillou, Daniel Tiger, the Hive, Dino Trux. The list is endless really. You are obsessed with cars, trucks, and tools. You've gone from kissing your own owies to asking me to. Letting me comfort you is an enormous step forward. I wouldn't trade any of this for the world. You've just woken up, climbed up on my chair and stole my glasses. You're scurrying around the house wearing them and if I'm being honest I'm not at all sure how you're not running into walls. You crack me up!

As it turns out I happen to have a store of energy I didn't know I had saved up all these years. It's been a God send. I'm fairly positive my heart has swelled to three times its normal size. I think this is going to work.

This has been a good week. Court went great. We're getting closer and closer to the finish line. Raising you...giving you my whole heart has been incredibly scary. I will breath the biggest sigh of relief when you're "officially" ours. Yet, it has always been my belief that God's plans are bigger than our own. I know that He loves you even more than I ever could, and that no matter what the future holds your's is in His hands. This comforts me greatly.

So I will continue to give you to God. You've always been His. I might have you for months, but I will continue to pray for a lifetime. In your two short years of life you have lived in four homes with four different families. You've endured more than any child should. Yet you, little fella, have shown me resilience, faith, trust, and just how much love a little heart can hold. Others will see what I've given you, but it will never, even for a second, measure up to all that you have given me. We are so blessed to have you, little Linky Lou. Here's to another 110 years. ❤️💛💙