Monday, July 29, 2013

~*30 Days of Thoughts: Day 5*~

Do you celebrate a "Gotcha Day", Family Day, or other celebration of receiving your child/ren into your family? 

When I say "celebrate" I know that while we are overwhelmed with happiness, the child/ren coming into our family are overwhelmed with grief and sadness, tinged with excitement. There are ends to relationships that, while severed in word and deed, must be respected and honored and honestly, those relationships never truly end. There are first mothers and fathers and extended family that will always think of the child they are forever separated from.

The first time we met our boys from Detroit it was arranged for them to come to our agency's reunion picnic. It was safe and neutral territory for the boys to eat some grub and run around like little boys should on the playground. All the while the social workers were near to help them adjust, answer our questions, and give the boys familiarity amidst the chaos.

We fell in love with our boys that day. Yes, there were many behaviors that we expected to see. Many negative behaviors that came from a place of extreme fear. There has been much healing since that day.

Each year we joyfully return to the reunion picnic. For us it marks a beautiful beginning and a respectful end to their time in foster care. We do something small for the day of their adoption finalization but for us...for our family...the most joyous day we choose to celebrate is that first day we met...while they didn't become O'Dells that sweet day, legally, they did become our sons in our hearts.

This years picnic we brought 3 more priceless treasures with us!

Its a long walk back from the bathroom and Anabanana got a piggyback ride!

Tired Anabanana

Never think our older children do not love all the littles...they live for this!

Preparing for a game.

Looking for mom in the crowd of parents.

There's Mom!

Making sure I haven't moved. My cautious, sweet one.

The games have begun.

Later in the day J.J. and the boy in yellow enjoyed playing soccer together.

A smile from J.J.!

My sweet boys!

Treasures from many families!

Red Light Green Light with water!

This is my absolute favorite pic!

Luke 1:68
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them."


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