GOTCHA, Times 4.
Four years ago, by law, he finally took our name: the last name of the family he belongs to and the first and middle names that we chose for him.
This boy who loves chocolate and marshmallows and pancakes.
This boy with the handsome new big-boy hair cut who was more attached to his “boingies” than we realized and didn’t start feeling better about it until we found a stray coil on the floor for him to play with. (So. much. hair, y’all. Like, a small puppy’s worth.)
Whose favorite book is his AWANA Cubbies book.
And who has had more fun with this flat Flash, The Donkey
than I would have ever imagined.
(Why do we even bother to buy toys? Let’s just print a donkey on some paper).
This boy who has a better knack for geography at age 4 than I do at the age of 32… who the other day on an UNLINED world map asked me “What’s that?” And silly me, thinking he was actually asking because he wanted to know named a general continent, and he more specifically said, “No, it’s Russia.” And then proceeded to point out Chile and some other countries, even sans borders. (I can’t wrap my mind around it. He’s going to have to be my navigator when he gets older).
Cheeks, who laughed while eating and said it was because his bun looked like New York. And I can totally see it.
This child who was born with a natural upper body strength and could flip himself and hang upside down and support himself on his hands since before he could really speak full sentences.
This brother who loves his sister fiercely, and is loved fiercely by us all.
This son of ours who had his last day of Pre-K this week and, although he is still a shy guy, he has come out of his shell so much.
First day vs. last day of preschool:
Our son who has the best smile and giggle and hugs and kisses on the planet: you have our name. You belong. You are our happy place. Happy Gotcha Day, snuggle bug.
As always, here is a repeat blog post of finalization day:
“Cheeks is legally OURS, as the judge put it, as if he were born to us. We are elated. He has been ours in our hearts from the beginning, but now he carries our last name. We are so appreciative of those whom God has so considerately placed along our path during this journey: friends and family, acquaintances, case workers, strangers, everyone. It has been a delight.
We began the day in excited mode. Then very close to our appointment with the judge, we transferred to nervous mode. We were initially told to go to the Justice Center. Then we were told that we were in the wrong place and were instructed to go to the courthouse. It really was probably only a matter of 5-10 minutes, but being that we arrived at the courthouse precisely at our appointment time due to this mix-up (and our lawyer and adoption counselor weren’t there yet), I was a tad nervous that somehow it wouldn’t happen today.
As it turns out, they were down the road at the same place where we had started initially, but we didn’t see them in person. I became nervous that whoever said they would pass along the word didn’t get a hold of them or something. But, as usual, I worried for no reason. They showed up shortly. We entered the judge’s chambers immediately upon their arrival, the lawyer did her thing, we did our thing (under solemn oath) and the judge did her thing. It was over in a blink! I didn’t ask for a picture with the judge, even though some folks have said that doing so is very treasured to them… had she offered, I would have said yes, but… I don’t know. She was very sweet and all, but I wasn’t “attached” to her… it’s hard to get attached in such a short period of time. We did however get pics with our adoption counselor and our lawyer (such sweethearts), but I won’t post those as I didn’t ask them permission to do so. I will however share pics of our OFFICIAL family!
Even though we didn’t finalize in general session in front of the bench (we did so privately in the judge’s chambers), our lawyer took us in the courtroom while it was recessed so we could take a pic in front of the bench with the flags and the seal. I’ve never seen so many lawyers ooing, aahing and making raspberry noises at one time. (Thankfully, they were directing their antics toward Cheeks 😉
This pic is cropped from the photo that we had taken with our counselor and our lawyer, but I thought that J was too sweet not to share.
We celebrated afterward with brunch at Cracker Barrel. The waitress made J’s cherry pancakes special 🙂
We are so blessed with how God designed our family. There are no words. I’m glad He knows my heart.