When love takes you in, it is a very special day. Today is one of those days in my extended family.
One of my wifes cousins will be adopting three of her grandchildren.
The reason she is adopting them do not matter, but yet, at the same time, they are forever life changing.
She has been taking care of her grandchildren for some time now. This is what families do when they love unconditionally.
My wife and I adopted three children. Not because we had to, but because we wanted to. It was a long and, at times, a very stressful journey.
In our case, we had to first get to a point, one we did not want or ask for. That point was the realization that, for whatever reason, we weren’t going to have kids. It is a point that many people find themselves at, and the hurt that came from finding ourselves at that point in our lives was made even worse because nobody could tell us why. We went through treatments, we were poked and prodded (and trust me, even though it was my wife who was getting poked and prodded like a pin cushion, I felt every single one of them), and we made long trips to see doctors out of state, only to come up empty.
It hurts when your plans, your hopes and your dreams all come crashing down around you.
But when we finally came out of all that pain and darkness, we found ourselves with a new light and a new realization. We had always planned that we would have children, and we knew they were out there. Somewhere.
They had just ended up being shipped to the wrong address, and so we had to go and find them.
That realization started our adoption odyssey.
Many families who adopt decide to go overseas, and adopt children from other countries. Others decide that they want to adopt a newborn.
We decided that there were groups of siblings, right here in our own state, that needed to be adopted together.
When love takes you in, that sounded quite logical to us. Unfortunately, that simple logic sounded quite insane to those who were helping us.
Long story short, we finally met our first two children, a sister and brother, who were living in separate foster homes in two different towns.
The bonding was immediate, and yes, we know that is not normally what happens, but it did in our case.
They were most definetely “our” kids. Take my Second Grade school photo, place it next to our sons Second Grade photo, and except for the part in our hair, they are almost identical. And when we were out and about, folks in town would complement my wife and our daughter on how much they looked alike, which for the longest time seemed to annoy our daughter, until she finally got used to that attention.
Then a couple of years later, their younger sister came and joined our family.
As a family, we had some problems, trials and tribulations, but we would do it again in a heartbeat.
Today, they are 29, 27 and 26. Both our daughters now have daughters of their own, and our son has a girlfriend who has a daughter. And this afternoon, my wife’s cousin will change her official title from “Grandma” to “Mom” for three special children.
But titles don’t really matter. Not when Love takes you in.