Our Adoption Story - Part 6: Bringing The Girls Home
"We won. Getting details" Does that text message mean what I think it means? Are we bringing the girls home? Are they going to be our daughters? After waiting an hour which felt like a year, we heard back that we were to meet our caseworker at 3PM to pick up the girls. We had 2 1/2 hours to get ready for our lives to change forever (which included a 1 1/2 hour drive) - do the math, people - 1 hour to prepare for TWINS! I was at lunch with my team at work, so I bid them farewell for 16 weeks (which turned into forever) and headed home!
We got home and installed the carseats, got our diaper bag, and tried to make sure our house was as ready as possible to bring TWO babies home to! And just like that, we were off to pick up our daughters! See the two faces in the picture? They were giddy with excitement and blissfully unaware of JUST how much they would miss sleep!
On the way there, we prayed for the girls & for their brave birth mom & her family & thanked God for His perfect plan. We dreamed out loud about what life with twins was going to look like. We listened to JJ Heller's album "I Dream of You" the whole way there. I had been listening to it during the wait, and imagined one day holding my baby singing to them these songs. I can't tell you the emotions I still feel listening to these songs with my girls.
We finally got there, and our case worker, Sheryl, had just arrived with the girls and their birth mother. I remember the carseats were covered with these pink fluffy blankets, and I couldn't wait to pull them off and see those sweet faces. We got inside, and Sheryl told us the girls were ready to eat (you could tell by the cries). She wasn't sure when they ate last or how much they ate at each feeding, but she handed us a plastic bag with formula and some instructions in it. That was the first "mom" duty I had - Their birth mother and I went into the kitchen at the center and proceeded to try to figure out how to make their bottles. It was rather comical looking back how much I DIDN'T know.
We got to feed them, change them, burp them, and put them in their precious little coming
home outfits. We spent some time with their birth mother and sister and soaked up these first moments as a family while she loved on them too. We are so thankful for her and her strength as well as the ongoing relationship we have with her.
At this point they were 4 weeks old, but since they were 4 weeks early and twins, they were still SO tiny! I almost forget how tiny they were, but looking at this picture with how HUGE those bows and teeny tiny outfits were on them - they were SO little! (And this was a glimpse into what it's like taking pictures of twins - it's impossible to get a photo where both of their eyes are open or where they're both still!)
After getting the girls situated, we finished signing the paperwork and met with our caseworker one last time to go over some final details. (Can you even handle the sweetness of little McKinley sleeping on her daddy's lap as he signs the paperwork to officially become her dad?!?)
Then it was time to go home! I cannot begin to explain how weird it felt to load the girls up in our car, say good bye to our caseworker and their birth mother, and drive home! Some of you may have experienced this when you drove your newborns home from the hospital, but at least you had the physical evidence that you birthed the baby you were taking home... We on the other hand just had empty carseats and hearts bursting! There was still a surreal feeling in all of this.
The girls slept pretty much the whole way home (what I wouldn't give for that nowadays! ha). Dale and I kept looking back in the mirrors at them; we were just enamored. We listened to JJ Heller the whole way home too - I'm telling you, if you have a little one, you need to listen to her "I Dream of You" album (it's on Amazon Music).
Before I get too ahead of myself, I can't write this post without sharing some of the details of how God's hand was so evident the whole time. The pregnancy center where we met our caseworker to pick up the girls was run by a godly woman named Beverly - who actually ended up being good family friends with my brother-in-law! She was the one who recommended Christian Adoption Services to the girls' birth mother - we were able to meet her and thank her (because without her we likely wouldn't be parents to our sweet twin girls)! It's crazy to think about all the small details that had to happen to allow us to parent these sweet little blessings - sometimes it really boggles my mind, and then I remember... It wasn't fate or chance that we get to call them our daughters. God knew before they were ever born exactly how their stories would be written. Although all adoptions are born out of tragedy, we hope to honor their birth parents by raising them to know Jesus and know their birth parents, and be the best parents we can be to C & M.
Also, did I mention that it was my brother's birthday? Or that it was my sister AND dad's birthday the day we found out about the girls? Talk about the best birthday present - two nieces! Because it was my brother's birthday, my sister had planned on coming that night to celebrate. So she came to our house and got things ready - made chili so we could eat when we got home and was there to welcome the four of us! My dad and brother came over shortly after we got home and got to meet the girls (and sort of celebrate Luke's birthday - he may have been slightly overshadowed this year).
One of my favorite memories of bringing the girls home was surprising our friends and family. With how quickly everything happened and with all the uncertainties in the situation, we chose not to tell many people (besides work, our life group, and a few close friends/family members). So the night we brought them home, we were able to FaceTime Dale's parents (who happened to be with his brothers at the time) and introduce them to their newest granddaughter and see the sheer joy and love in their faces and then pan over to their other granddaughter - confusing the mess out of them. Over the course of the next few days we FaceTimed all of our close friends and our families; their reactions were priceless - first excitement, then confusion, then sheer delight!
This day will go down in the history books of our family as one of the greatest days - the day our family doubled in size, and so did our hearts!
Only one more post in my adoption series - what's life been like since we brought the girls home? 7 day revocation period that ended on Thanksgiving... Finalization, and everything in between!