My baby boy turned 8 months old today. It's so crazy for me to think he is already 8 months old...yet at the same time, it's so crazy for me to think that he's only been in our arms for 8 months! The truth is that he's been in our lives a lot longer than that, because our desire to parent him began YEARS ago. People often ask me how Lucy has adjusted to being a big sister, and I'm always so blessed that I get to respond with how much she is thriving because of having that role. DH and I weren't the only ones who longed to have Gabriel in our family--Lucy longed for our family to grow, too. DH desired to be a father again, I yearned to be a momma again, and Lucy hoped and prayed for the opportunity to be a big sister. I am so very thankful God answered each of our heart's desires through this precious little baby boy and his amazing birthmommy. He is a daily reminder to me of God's perfect plan!
I've been under the weather for about a week now, and finally gave in and went to the doctor this morning. (I snapped the above shot of Gabriel and me:) I love his sweet smile. He is SUCH a happy baby, and his smile seriously melts my heart into a big huge puddle! He smiles with his whole face, he loves to stick his tongue out and give silly faces, he thinks "fake coughing"is hilarious and does little bouts of it himself several times a day. He absolutely ADORES puppy dogs, and whenever he ears Annabelle (our beagle) coming near he jerks his head away from ANYTHING else going on, jumps up and down excitedly, and gets the biggest grin on his face! He is very serious about his bottles (as in when he wants to eat, you better have it ready! I often find myself singing the old Amy Grant song when I'm hurriedly trying to get his bottle made, He wants his bottle and he don't mean maybe...) and will hold them well for other people but usually acts like he "can't" when Mommy is feeding him:-) (I don't mind!;-) He also enjoys all solid foods (unless they aren't pureed well--he doesn't like lumpy stuff) and has GREAT motor skills with picking up objects and starting to self-feed with little baby rice cakes and mum-mums. He usually takes GREAT naps and sleeps ALL night. He LOVES to play with toys! He still isn't crawling but he definitely can move quickly from one end of the room to the other, and he rocks on his hands and knees a lot. (I really think he just hasn't seen the need for crawling just yet.) He goes easily to other people, loves to snuggle and be read to, and he loves the piano. He's a very easy-going baby, and we are all, of course, just totally in love with him!
When I came back into town this afternoon and picked up Lucy, I grabbed the mail out of the mailbox and found a letter from our adoption attorney. I immediately envisioned what would be inside, and I quickly tore into the envelope to discover its contents. My eyes quickly were drawn to the phrase,
"All work associated with the adoption has been completed."
Completed. What an amazing word to read! (Now, mind you, that's just on the attorney's end. We still have to apply for a social security number, but once we receive that card it will be our final process in all of the legalities. Shouldn't be much red tape in that process...SHOULDN'T being the main word there!)
I then pulled back the page behind the letter from our attorney to find Gabriel's birth certificate. My eyes literally filled with tears and my heart started to pound. I searched the document quickly looking for his birthmother's name...but I didn't see it...and that's when I realized, "Wait, that's MY name on there...it says I am his mother...." Don't get me wrong--I have always felt this in my heart, but there's just something pretty amazing about seeing it written out in front of me. The place that had once been blank on his birth certificate for father was now occupied with my DH's name. Gabriel's mother. Gabriel's father. I felt like time just stood still for a moment as I stared at that long-awaited piece of paper. Lucy was curiously peering over my shoulder, and sensing my emotion she said, "Momma, is that something special to you." I choked back my tears, "Yes, baby, it is...this is Gabriel's birth certificate. We all know that he's a part of our family, but this piece of paper tells the entire world that now. It says that I'm his mommy, and that Daddy is his Daddy, and if there was a line on it that said 'Sissy' it would have your name on it, too!" I can't help but think how cool it is, too, that we received his birth certificate on the day he turned 8 months old...
Maybe I'm a bit more emotional that usual because of being sick, but I seriously could just burst into tears at any moment. We. are.SO.BLESSED! What an amazing journey God has taken us on, and He's not finished with us yet!