One of the people that I admire most in the world is my sister. Although she is 12 years younger than me and the baby of our family, she has always been a force. As I have watched her get married and raise her kids, and our relationship evolved from big sister/little sister to peers, that esteem has only grown. She is an outstanding mother and a person of deep faith, and unlike many people who just talk about their faith she has put her beliefs into practice. Since she was about 15 years old she has talked about adopting. It was always a major goal of hers, but not something that ever came to fruition. So a couple of years ago, when the opportunity to foster an infant came into her life I wasn’t surprised that she jumped at the chance. I did think she was crazy :). Her own kids were 10, 13, and 15 and she was in the “home stretch” of child raising by my estimation, but Wendy and her husband Josh were committed. So began a two year long labor of love which is finally culminating in the adoption being finalized in May.
The baby Abram has grown from a very small 1 month old to a very solid toddler with a wonderful personality, and an infectious smile. He knows his own mind, not surprising in a child raised by Wendy, but he is also incredibly sweet and loving. The last two years have been really tough though. Severing parental rights (even in the case of drug use and criminal activity) is necessarily a long and thorough process, but the ups and downs, starts and stops have definitely taken a toll on Wendy and Josh. Throughout it all though, their faith that God put this child with them for a reason has not wavered, and finally the adoption day is set. Wendy has been planning to have a party since the beginning and when she found out we would be in the area in April moved the date up so we could be there. My parents and brother also came down from Columbus, so for the first time since Katy’s wedding we are all going to be together.
What I didn’t expect through this process is how much Lee and I would grow to love Abram. Family to me is more than just a blood relation, but since we haven’t spent a ton of time with him over the last year I am surprised by how quickly we have grown to love him. Lee and he have a very special relationship which is really a joy to watch and Abram adores his uncle Lee. Unfortunately we can’t post pictures of his face until the adoption is finalized but he is cute as a button and his smile lights up the room.
I also got to spend time this week with my niece and nephews which was awesome and I got to see two of Alec’s soccer games. I have been honing my photography skills on birds, but try keeping up with a bunch of 12 year old soccer players. Thank heavens for the sports setting on my camera! Alec scored three goals in the game (he’s really good) and I had a blast taking the pictures.
We also gave the kids their presents from Mexico and had several meals together and with my mom (who came in on Thursday) and bought us all lunch and KFC for dinner one night. I told everyone upfront we were on a strict budget and everyone was really cool about understanding that. We did splurge and go to Anna J’s though for breakfast one day. Lee had to get his eggs and catfish!!
We had a great few days prior to the party and then party day we all gathered together and helped put it together. One thing I love about my family is they all pull together when there is work to be done and everyone pitched in. My brother was an absolute rock star running all those last minute errands that always arise and Kyrston and her boyfriend Jeremy came up from Charleston and were super helpful. You may remember Jeremy was my mental lifesaver during Katy’s wedding and once again he jumped in to help. The poor guy… every time we see him we are putting him to work. I am really looking forward to next week in Charleston where we can just hang out with him and Kyrston. The weather was beautiful and the lake venue my sister rented was great and it was really nice to all be together, especially since we wont be seeing them all for awhile.
So glad we got to spend time with family. Next up Charleston, a city that I love, and a visit with Jeremy and Kyrston.
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