For the past week, we've been receiving mail almost every day from DHS (Department of Human Services) here in Oregon. One day it's the kid's new medical cards (they are entitled to secondary insurance through the state - which is nice because it will back up our insurance). The next it's another agreement we need to sign and send back. Or some information. Or something! The good news is, it's all starting to flow. We're in the home stretch. Our adoption is coming down the straightaway - the white flag has been waved and we're putting pedal to the metal.
It's an amazing look back at what we've accomplished in these last 6 months. We brought home two children who had been through SO much. Who had been promised SO much in their short little lives. They had been ripped from their parents - the only people they ever felt truly loved them, through no fault of their own, and bounced around from place to place. They were summarily handed back to their bio-mom a few times, and when they were, she would pack them up and move them to another state, all with the intent of trying to hide them from the CPS in the previous state. And inevitably, the cycle would start all over again.
I am thankful that Washington and Oregon work together, and did work together to bring these children out of the unfortunate situation that they were in, and find them a family that would take care of them and love them the way they deserve to be loved.
I am thankful that my tough little nut, my 10 year old daughter, has softened. I am thankful that she has seen that we love her, fiercely, and that we will always be there to protect her and guide her. I am thankful that she has finally opened up, little by little, and allowed us to hold her heart, if even for a moment. I am thankful that she is honest, and accepts responsibility for her actions. I am thankful that she sends me little emails each day to tell me how much she loves me. I am thankful that she no longer feels the need to worry about or watch over her brother out of necessity, rather, she does it because she wants to. I am thankful that she has let go - and that she is able to be a child right now, when it's most important.
I am thankful that my sassy pants boy, my 7 year old, has matured and become comfortable. I am thankful that he doesn't keep his room clean with military precision anymore. I am happy when I see clothes strewn about and toys not put away. I am happy that I have to remind him to clean his room, and that he grunts about it. I am thankful that he no longer looks to his sister to provide him with answers, or guidance. I am thankful that he is blossoming on his own, and developing his own little sense of self. I am thankful that he is so helpful, and that he enjoys teasing mama about her love of the Yankees, all the while clinging to his papa and cheering for the Cardinals.
We have introduced them to sushi, late-night get togethers with great friends, independence, personal responsibility, Wii tournaments, Just Dance, rock music, Bon Jovi, family game nights, and road trips.
We have instilled in them that THIS.IS.IT. And I think they are finally getting it.