In five and a half hours, barring any unforeseen roadblocks, Will will officially become a Bassham. The weight of that isn't lost on me. I'm thrilled. It's what we've been waiting six and a half months for. But the me who has raised an adopted child for nearly eight years knows that, while this day is of vital importance, the journey doesn't end here.
The adoption process doesn't stop when the judge declares him ours henceforth and forever. It is stunningly beautiful, a masterpiece painting of the love our God has for us when He adopts us into His family. It is also loss and anguish. The adoption relationship is ever evolving and we, as his parents, must be willing participants and, in fact, advocates of that evolution.
Today, Will's birth certificate will change. It will list me as his mother, as though I felt every burning labor pain, as though I watched his tiny body emerge from mine. I did not. It will list Troy as his father, as though he stood by, holding my hand while I pushed this boy into the world. We did not give him his beginning.
His original birth certificate will be wiped away.
And so we made sure to obtain it months ago. The information his mother gave the hospital is preserved in a safe, that he might have it one day, that who he began as is not erased forever.
Today is a day for joy and we will celebrate.
But, under that elation is the knowledge that our joy comes from grief. The grief he will battle, in ripples and waves and, sometimes, tsunamis as he navigates this world of nature and nurture. The grief his parents felt as they placed his life into my arms. The grief they continue to feel--whether in moments or in constants.
Today, he will be ours.
But it remains our job to teach him that he was first, and always will be, theirs.
This story is a tangled web of hope and expectation and sadness and miracles. What began as the dream of his sister more than two years ago will become the reality of her brother becoming our legal son. Finally.
Happy Adoption Day, Will. My promise to you is that I will let you feel whatever you feel. I will always be here for you. You will never have to worry about hurting me with your concerns or desires to know your family and your beginning. This is your journey. I'm so glad that our Father gave me such an important role in it.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. -James 1:17