There are hundreds of small things to celebrate under the umbrella of official adoption and in this moment it’s that I no longer have to refer to our youngest as “Little Girly” publicly but can use her full new name, Haley Kate Taylor.
Celebrations have been in full swing this week. Yesterday afternoon as I was preparing for Haley’s adoption party, I heard a knock on our front door. I swung it open and had a “pause… wait for it…” moment as I realized my dear friend Jill and her daughter from southwest WA were grinning at me with an armful of flowers. After my “what-the-heck-is-going-on” pause followed by many tears, they were swept up in the celebration whirlwind with the rest of us.
Last night was full of sugar, bouncy houses, families that have supported our adoption journey and loved Haley, and then I’m pretty sure there was a lot more sugar.
This morning we woke up early and headed to the courthouse to make it official. My emotional moment of “this is really happening” was walking up the courtroom steps to be greeted by “Team Haley”; social workers, our lawyer, supervisors, and liaisons who have advocated for this little one since she was an infant at our doorstep. This has been a big part of our lives for the past 20 months and it was a surreal moment to put those meetings, court dates, and unknowns behind us in a quick signature by a friendly judge who clearly preferred this to his other appointments today.
Our post party included some gifts and snack time at McDonalds to debrief, let kids play, and let the events simmer for a few moments.
Then just like that the kids were back to school and Sean was off running errands with Everett. By some little miracle it was me and Haley in a gray drizzly morning changing into comfy clothes and looking at each other with hazy, overstimulated, exhausted eyes. We grabbed her favorite quilt, wrapped ourselves up in it, and settled into her rocking chair.
My sweetest moment was then, as I told Haley all my memories of the first night she came to us- how God answered a deep desire of my heart, how enamored I was by this mystery of a brunette, and how kissed on and loved she was immediately. I told her about her birth mom and how loved and wanted she’s been since day one.
We talked about the verse I picked for her, “By you I have been upheld since birth; you are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of you.” Psalm 71:6.
Haley- no one can mess up God’s purposes for you. He knows everything that has and will happen and He’ll use it all to bring Himself glory and to draw you closer to Him.
Her understanding of her story will grow as she does. For today she definitely understood, “I love you” because she returned it with an emphatic, “I wuv YOU!”
She doesn’t yet understand why we gave her the middle name “Kate” after my mom, who has a indescribable connection with her namesake. Something about Haley Kate’s approachable cheerful nature, her adaptability, and the way our family is completely changed by her, reminds us of my mom. Haley doesn’t know the reasons behind the name but she knows her Beppe. She answers to “Haley Kate” (except when she runs the other way… I have mentioned she’s almost two?)
We ended our rocking and “story” time with hugs, kisses, and an enthusiastic, “Now you’re Haley Kate Taylor!” To which she popped her head up from my chest and added, “Yay!” Giggles from us both. Then a nap. A really good nap for us both.
Just throwing myself out there a bit...