Tuesday morning I walked into my room to discover a flower next to my bed. I left my room, carrying the tulip, as to inquire who left it for me. When I asked the kids who it was Tyler smiled at me and told me that he had picked it for me. “It’s so you know that I love you so, so, so much!” he said. What a gift..both from Tyler and God! We have had a few wonderful days with Tyler. He has been very affectionate, happy and positive. My heart melted into a puddle of happy tears at his declaration of love. That began a day full of blessings.
After schoolwork and a social visit in the morning we left for a visit to the orthodontist. Grace had an appointment to have her brackets changed but Molly and Rusty had an appointment as well; a consultation to see if braces were in their future. The orthodontist that we see has two offices. In an attempt to make scheduling easier on us they scheduled all three appointments for one afternoon but that meant we couldn’t go to their regular office. We had appointments at their other office, about an hour and a half from where we live. We couldn’t have asked for a better day for a car trip. The sun was shining and flowers were blooming as we drove through the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania on the way to our appointments.
On our way there the kids began discussing their futures and how many children they would like to have when they are married. Gracie said that she would like three biological children and two adoptive, Tyler informed us that he thought he might like fifty kids, and Rusty said that he would like two boys and two girls. I told him that when I was young I often had this same discussion with my sister and she always said that she wanted two boys and two girls as well…
Upon hearing that Tyler asked, “Well, did she get them?”
“No,” I told him, “she had three boys and one girl.”
“She can have another girl,” Tyler said.
“But then she’d have five kids instead of four,” Rusty pointed out.
Tyler thought about that and came up with a solution..”I know! She can just have twins!” he then continued, “You know, like me and Rusty!”
Rusty looked at him and pointed out the obvious, “We are not twins.”
“Of course we are, Rusty,” Tyler answered, “we like to play together and we both have big ears.”
Well there you go, long-lost twins separated at birth by five years. My heart was smiling as I listened to their exchange..just another sign of the bond that God is growing in Tyler’s heart.
When we arrived at the orthodontist Molly and Rusty were thrilled to see their names hanging on a sign in the waiting room that welcomed the office’s newest friends.
Welcome Molly and Rusty!
Gracie went back first and had her work done. They then took Rusty and Molly back, one at a time, to take x-rays and pictures. When they were done we were taken back to an office where we met with one of the staff members and Dr. G to examine the kids and go over his findings and recommendations. As we waited for the doctor to finish with another patient we had a good visit with Dr. G’s assistant. She was telling us about her daughter, who was a senior and graduating, when she mentioned that her daughter was adopted. I told her that we were in the process of adopting Tyler. We had a wonderful visit as she shared her adoption story with us. For her the journey was not smooth..it was eight years of infertility treatments, failed foster placements and disappointments before God led them down the road to international adoption. As she shared how God opened one door after another for them (financially, legally, etc.) it confirmed my testimony of God’s hand in our own adoption journey. We first began exploring the idea of adoption when Rusty was just a baby. We had applied through two other agencies over the years, initially focused on infant adoption, before God led us to our current adoption agency. There were so many obstacles in our way that over the last ten years I often questioned if we were even meant to adopt. I finally reached the point of surrender and gave it to God. I figured if God was calling us to adoption then He would move the mountains that stood in our way…and He did. I have learned through this process that the obstacles are often the most important part of the journey because if the mountains weren’t there, blocking our path, then we wouldn’t get to witness the miracle of God moving those mountains.
I had a friend share with me these words of wisdom as we were beginning our journey with Tyler, “If this is the child that God is calling you to raise there is nothing that will stand in the way of your adoption but if this is not your child it won’t matter how ideal your home, paperwork, interview, etc. are because it is not God’s plans for you.” That was my mantra through this process. When I found myself battling fear, or allowing the “what-ifs” to steal my joy I would remember her wise words and give God control.
Soon Dr. G walked in and was probably wondering why his assistant and patients’ mother were in tears but he didn’t ask. 🙂 He sat down and went over his findings and shared with us the good news: Molly won’t need braces, and the not so good news: Rusty will. The blessing, though, is that he doesn’t want to do anything now so we have a year until we need to make decisions (much to Rusty’s relief.)
Braces news= happy Molly, sad Rusty
When we were leaving I realized how close we were to the Pymatuning Spillway, a place we had been introduced to by friends. It is a place where you can go and feed carp that are so abundant in that small area that the ducks just walk across their backs. We thought Tyler would get a kick out of that so we stopped at the store for old bread and drove over to the spillway. Tyler was excited to see the seagulls as soon as we climbed out of the car but then got very excited when he saw the carp. There was nobody else there so we had the place to ourselves. Tyler loved the fish and the birds that battled to get a piece of his bread. When it was time to leave he didn’t want to go. I think he would have gladly spent hours staring down over the railing if I had let him.
The carp at the Spill Way.
As I sat on the bench watching the kids throw bread to the fish on that beautiful spring day I counted my blessings..1…2…3…4. God is good!