I haven't fallen off the edge of the world,
I have just been busy.
The big news is the adoption is final.
Here we are in front of the court house just after the adoption was final. It was a bit of an emotional day, especially for the girls. They felt the loss of their family and there name. It was exciting for us and for one moment it was overwhelming for me as it hit me this is real and forever.
They are sweet, active, affectionate, fun, beautiful girls.
They have blessed our lives.
Here are some of the family members that came to court and supported our special occasion. As you can see we were all excited.
So how did this all come about, what is the story behind this adoption.
I can remember when I applied for Social Security, how good I felt, it was amazing. I felt this must be the right time for me to retire. I had a date picked out, it would be after a big project at work and it would be the Friday before Thanksgiving. So I would have all of the Holidays off, a stress free Holiday Season. Beautiful!
On November 15, 2012 my former sister in law, the grandmother of the girls called me at work and asked if I could take her grand babies. This was the day before I retired. I had plans to teach more quilting and to do a mission at the Mesa Family Search Library. I hadn't made any commitments yet since it was so close to the Holidays. I had thought about sending my papers in for the mission but a still small voice told me to wait. So, I was just looking forward to enjoying the Holidays without working. I had a list of quilts I wanted to finish. Guess what they still aren't finished.
While I spoke with their Nana, I had the distinct impression that I had to say yes. The timing was too good for the Lord's hands not to have been in the situation. He was mindful of these little girls and He wanted them with us. Nana told me we were the only stable family she knew who could take the girls. She couldn't because she works and helps an elderly aunt and had a sick mother in another state, plus she lives in California.
So on my last day of work I left work at 2 PM and I left CPS at 3:30 PM with 2 beautiful girls. They went with us to my retirement party; we rode on the light rail and went to the Spaghetti Factory in Phoenix for dinner.
Here is the little one, or "Little Bit" she was age 7.
Here is the bigger one, or "Bigger Bit" age 9. These are the pictures they picked out for their scrapbooks. There are other pictures of them laughing with my friends. Everyone made them feel welcomed. My friends are good that way.
That night the "Little Bit" came to me, took my face in her two little hands and told me I was perfect. If that doesn't melt your heart nothing will. It had to be the sweetest thing I had ever experienced.
They took over my planned guest room. So the quilt I was making for that double bed is not finished.
On Saturday we had to go buy dresses and Sunday shoes so they could go to church on Sunday. They had never gone to church before so this was a big culture shock for them.
At first we thought it was going to be a short term like a few months maybe six but as the months passed it became obvious that it was going to be more long term but still not permanent.
In March of 2013 we began classes to become licensed foster parents. That is 3 hours once a week for 11 weeks. What an education. We were blessed with good friends from church who watched the kids for us for free so we could attend the classes.
Another couple we knew, who had had foster kids gave us twin beds for the girls. Two of the largest tender mercies we had on this journey. Another large tender mercy was fun kids who lived by us, just the right age for our girls. Built in friends what a blessing.
There also many small tender mercies, like I learned to sleep with a night light on in every room of the house and light shining into my bedroom from these lights. I like it dark when I sleep. When my big kids where home and were up to all hours of the night the light would drive me crazy but not for these little ones, who needed to feel secure.
We became licensed in July after many home inspections and lots of paper work. Everything that is labeled keep out of the reach of children are locked up in cabinets. We had to make many changes in our home to become licensed. All worth it.
By November of 2013 we knew the rights of the mother were going to be terminated and the father's would be terminated a few months later.
I can never explain how hard it is to watch children being heart broken by the actions of their parents. The pain is raw and intense for them and for me. There were times I came up with answers to their questions about such things in a way that was much better than I would normally reply. The Lord has helped me say some really cool things to help them at the right time. Don't get me wrong I am not perfect but I have received lots of help from above.
The picture on the right was taken in January of 2013, I made those little quilts and pillows for their doll beds. They helped with the quilting. The one on the left was taken in February of 2014. Little Bit had grown three inches in a year, Bigger Bit had grown two inches in a little more than a year, but she has grown a lot in these last couple of months.
We didn't think very long on if we should adopt the girls, we knew it was the right thing to do. We were even encouraged by one person at the licensing agency to let another family adopt them and be their grandparents. It did not feel right. We also knew that another big change for them could set them back another year developmentally and we didn't want that for the girls. I also knew spiritually that these girls were going to be mine. That feeling has helped me get through some very tough moments. Let's face it, raising kids isn't easy and I am not as young as I was the first time around. I have been blessed with health and energy to care for these girls. I miss some things but they are worth it. The only time I start to worry is when I think about how old I am going to be when they graduate from high school. But I remind myself, Heavenly Father made this happen, this is my right place to be and the right thing to be doing, so he will get me through it.
Things move slowly with the court but by April of 2014 we were going to adopt the girls. It was final on September 18th.
We have had lots of fun things happening over the last 22 months, like baby teeth falling out and the tooth fairy coming, and even once she forgot to come and came a day late. One tooth was swallowed when it fell out while eating corn on the cob. That was a real concern if the tooth fairy was going to come and the tooth fairy did come. Little Bit learned to ride a two wheel bike. Two trips to California. The first time seeing the ocean and playing in the waves. Horseback riding lessons for Bigger Bit with grant money for foster kids. Ballet lessons for Little Bit. Some really fun chalk art in our drive way. Lots of hugs and kisses. Lots of not going to bed on time, that's not so fun but so part of children. That first Christmas was magical, they loved all my pretty decorations and I told them not to worry Santa knew where they were. And when they woke up and saw Santa had been here. Oh it was wonderful. The second Christmas was fun as the girls would say, I remember this when they pulled out the decorations. Going Trick or Treating again.
Well that pretty much tells the story, and what a story it is.
You will hear and see more about them now.
I love my beautiful little girls.