|Thankful to my friend Ashley for these incredible shirts!|
|Absolutely adore this chalkboard by my friend Lisa with Chalked Up Charm|
My heart exploded the day we met each of them as it did when we met Lily, Andi and Oliver for the first time, but I also tried to hold them at a distance as I knew they weren't "ours" as we knew for a true successful foster care story the end game results with the kids going home to their rehabilitated parents. On paper this makes perfect, beautiful, redeeming sense.
In this mamas heart that idea was excruciating.
Yet we supported and encouraged and developed relationships with the kids bio parents and even when we started to realize they would probably never be raised by them, we respected and supported them. Well bio mama. I'm gonna be truthful here. Not so much their father. Details unnecessary. Truth is we supported mom. But respected both as biological parents that loved their kids. We don't doubt for a moment they don't love their kids. I don't doubt that they did all they could with the tools they had, unfortunately though, it just was not enough. That doesn't make them bad. That doesn't make us bad. Foster care is a broken system with broken people.
This was the hardest thing we have ever done.
AND WE DO HARD. Andrew and I have done hard from the beginning with our first born baby having seizures at 3 weeks old. We do hard. We freaking swim upstream in hard. This was almost too hard. Breaking everything hard.
But here we are officially Nordy party of 7 with 5 kids we love so much we would face any extreme obstacle for. I cried harder meeting a 3 day day old Isabella than I did with any of our bio kids. I grieved for her mom who left the hospital with an aching body, breast full of milk and empty arms. I grieved for the baby girl who craved that mama she grew her perfect self into for 9 months. I hated what Alfonso went through 9 months before we got the wonderful pleasure to have met him. I hate what he went through before he came to us. I hate that he was taken from the only family who knew, albeit unsafe, it was all he knew. I hate the trauma they were unwillingly born into. I love them with a veracious love that will do anything to protect them because I know their start was not one of organic foods, baby showers and Pottery Barn nurseries. They landed unexpectedly in their forever family's home supposedly temporarily. It's not fair, their start. But my God these kids are loved. The love is not different. The love is fierce and wild and intense and it is so real. I never ever want them to ever doubt our love for them because they are not our flesh of our flesh. They are so much more.
They will always know their worth. They will indeed have doubts and questions and experience grief for the losses they endured at fragile tiny ages, but they will know they are loved. They are worthy and they are family.
Ohana Officially and Forever.
Our family is full. Our home is full. Our hands are full. We have decided we will close our foster care license for now. We also know that window in our heart for foster care will always stay cracked and when God says it's time to open it back up we will be obedient.
I have learned so much these past two years and trusting God is my biggest lesson learned. I struggle with fear and I love the song Fear is a Liar because dammit he is. But God is bigger than my fears and he held me on days I was sure they were leaving and I couldn't get through folding their clothes without sobbing. He was with me as I prayed over their Christmas stockings while I put them in a special box that I planned on sending them with when they went home. The nights I cried myself to sleep. The people I desperately sought comfort from. The experts I bombarded with questions. These two years I loved like there was no tomorrow since tomorrow wasn't given. We know tomorrow isn't guaranteed for any one, but this was a whole different level of not knowing what tomorrow will bring. But we still loved hard because they deserved it. They deserved to be loved fiercely no matter what tomorrow brought. And this experience changed me. Molded me. Made me.
I look a little older. I feel a lot a bit older. I am seasoned and a bit fried. But we are a family and I'd go to hell and back again and again to keep it that way.
On adoption day we heard a few " I have never" and it makes us proud. Our sweet licensing worker said "I have never seen so many people at an adoption hearing before" and that is because our tribe rocks and every single person that was in that room that day holds a piece of my heart. They witnessed one of the best days of our lives and deserved to be there because they were there through it all from the start and they knew the turmoil and stress and they love these kids as if I birthed them myself and they rock. Truly! We celebrated lunch out afterwards with more very special people who couldn't make the hearing but are just as dear to us and we celebrated. We laughed and just breathed a sigh of relief. You know your tribe is your tribe when they hold their breath for you. We all deserved that sigh of relief. Thank you my people. Life with you is what it is all about.
One other "I have never" was said and this one still gives me chills. This one makes me cry to remember. This one will always change the kids adoption story forever. This "I have never" means this adoption was supported by someone no one in the world thought would support it. "I have never seen a biological mom at an adoption hearing".
That my friends is because one word.
#adoption, the pain is different but the euphoria is the same
**we have special pictures of us with bio mom I am not sharing publicly here, but will be cherished by all of us, especially the kids**
|We so do promise to tell the truth!|
|Our Licensing worker Robin who saw us through A LOT|
|Judge G. saw our case through from trial to adoption|