Our family has experienced some major changes in the past, as many of you know. What family doesn't? However, this week has brought about one of the biggest in the shortest amount of time that we have ever gone through. (It may be at the top, but my sleep-deprived brain is a little too cloudy to focus on sorting them out by weight at the moment.)
We have a new family member, as of yesterday. We are adopting our friends Brian and Laverna Stanley's grandson.
This all came about at breakneck speed, but the smoothness, and timing, can only be God-ordained and God-provided.
Last Friday (the 15th), we called the Stanleys to invite them to a late pool party celebration of Noah's birthday on Saturday. (The celebration was late, not the pool party. :-D) At that time, we got the first news that their daughter had recently reached the conclusion that she could no longer care for her son in the way that he needed. They were in the process of gaining legal parental guardianship.
When Jason got home, I shared the news with him, and we discussed our concerns (me through my tears as I prayed for this situation and this little boy), which we knew would be the same concerns that the Stanleys must be experiencing. They have health and age issues to consider in being able to raise a little boy to adulthood.
Unbeknownst to me, Jason offered that we could adopt Orion while he and Brian were discussing the situation on Saturday. Unbeknownst to both of us, this was an answered prayer for the Stanleys. (And for us, too, really.)
On Monday, they called to say that they were open to the idea, and to set up a meeting to discuss it.
On Wednesday at the meeting, we cleared up any concerns on all sides, and Orion's biological dad gave approval to the adoption right afterwards, so we were in the clear to proceed.
On Friday morning, I picked him up, and most of his accompanying gear (I forgot how much STUFF babies have!), and he spent the day doing errands in town with the kids and I and Grandma Laurel, and then when we got home, Brian brought out the crib. The only real fussing he did all day was while Brian was bringing all the pieces into the house, going back-and-forth to the truck. Apparently, he normally does that when his Papa comes home from work, too--Papa Stanley is his favourite person in the world right now, I think.
Last night, we began sleep training the little man. He did pretty good for a first-timer, but the rest of us are not so used to middle-of-the-night interruptions, and we all had pretty rough sleeps. I was actually not able to go back to sleep after getting up with him at 3:45, so other than a dozy nap after Jason got up, I'm running on adrenaline. That is petering out fast, so as soon as I am finished this post, it is off to bed for me.
This transition, while for the good, is definitely taking an emotional toll. For us, we are thrilled to be able to add him to our family, but our hearts are breaking for Brian and Laverna and Jenn, his biological mom. For them, they know that this is the best and right thing to do, but they are going through the grieving process. However, they are also looking with hope to the other side--when they get to be grandparents for the first time in their lives. (They are already raising their other grandson, Quinton, who is buddies with Noah and Jabin.)
We have decided to rename him Levi Simon Winters. Simon is currently one of his middle names, and is a family name from Laverna's side. "Levi" means "joined" as he has joined our family, and "Simon" means "he has heard." It was the only name they asked that we keep the same as before, and really, it is so SO perfect.
He has heard my petition for another child in our family for the last seven years.
He has heard the Stanleys' prayers for a loving family for their precious grandson that would allow them to still maintain a relationship with him.
And, He has heard Jude, Noah's, and Jabin's prayers for a baby sibling. (They were rooting for a sister, but they are just over-the-top THRILLED that they have a baby brother, that it is the little boy they already knew and loved, and that we are calling him Levi, as that was their favourite name from the options we had narrowed it down to.)
I haven't had much time to take photos, yet, but here is one taken yesterday of our soon-to-be one-year-old Levi with his new big brothers. (Even Jabin, who is SO excited to be a big brother at last!)