Wednesday, November 18, 2015

To His Birth Mother...

To the precious woman who chose life for my son,

I don't know you. I know your name. A little bit of your history. But we will likely never meet face to face. Honestly, in some ways I'm okay with that....but at the same time it breaks my heart. I have times where I'm so mad at you and I want to scream "Why?! How could you?!" And then I'm reminded of the brokenness of this world and I'm grieved because you were trapped in it. And that's when I want to take you in my arms and say "I love you....not of my own ability....but with Jesus' love for you. And, yes, precious lady...He does love you. Even now." I love you for giving life to my son. You could've chosen a dark alley in Colombia and ended it all there. But you didn't, you chose life and in choosing life you chose love for him...and now I have the son my husband and I have prayed gut-wrenching prayers for....the brother my children have dreamed of.

There's things I want you to know, should miracles happen and you stumble across this post and somehow just "know" that you're looking into the eyes of the baby boy you gave birth to.

I want you to know that....

....he's adventurous. He loves to climb and he makes his mama's heart nervous.

....he loves to build and he's so intense when playing with blocks. He can sit and do this for hours.

....he was loved here, in one of the best orphanages Colombia had to offer.

....he's so precious when he sleeps and I could watch him all night. He's a good sleeper and, just like me, likes his sleep :-)

....the joy that filled my heart that first morning I woke up and saw him sleeping in his bed next to mine - it's the same joy I felt the first morning with all of my children...they are all the same in my heart.

....he's the cutest and newest Tennessee VOLS fan

...his first Popsicle was pineapple-kiwi - but he didn't eat it all because the cold was a little too much for his mouth

...he loves hamburgers, and he's gonna fit right in at home in America

...his favorite animals at the zoo are the iguanas - and he couldn't take his eyes off of them on his first trip there

...even when he has his moments - we just scoop him right up and love him through them. And we always will.

....he has two big sisters and a big brother who simply adore him.

...he has a father who loves him and wants to lead him and that our baby boy already wants to be just like his daddy

....and he has a mommy who promises to never let go.

And I want you to know that he will know the most important thing about you...that you chose life for him. And in choosing life, you gave us one of the most precious gifts we could've ever hoped gave us all love.

I don't know what your life is like now....if you think about him, wish you had done things differently, carry guilt or remorse - or maybe you're living a full and happy life now. I will never know. But I love you and my deepest prayer for you will always be that sometime, somewhere along the way - someone has shared the unconditional, redeeming love of Christ with you. Because if you know that love, then precious lady, we will meet in heaven. And I will hug you and thank you and our families will forever worship our Jesus together. 


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Becoming Silas Coleman, In Pictures

Here's what the in country process looked like from the time we got him, to the moment he was finally forever, Silas Wade Coleman....

The moment I have waited, hoped, and longed for....the first forever hug to my son

And then Jacob's first forever hug for his son

The exit and initial car ride from the orphanage was tough - only Jacob's lap, a sucker, and a water cup could stop the tears

The first few days held few smiles for him...he was scared, timid, and very unsure

We had "first morning together" snuggles

Five days after getting him and we're headed to tell the attorneys we want to proceed to court to make this official!

We took a trip to the top of Cali after our meeting with the attorneys

We took him to say goodbye to his friends and caretakers at his orphanage. There are so man good things I will say about this sweet and beautiful woman in a separate post.

He took his first plane ride when we returned to Bogota for a few days

We saw the timid little face begin to smile really, real smiles

And they got bigger and came more often

We had a doctor's appointment to update vaccines and have a TB skin test so he could proceed with his passport and Visa when the time came. It was a tough day for him.

This was our first Skype after I came home. He kept giving me kisses through the phone.

And this is is the very moment it became official and forever. This is the moment he was no longer an orphan, no longer simply in "our custody" this moment - he legally became a son. He will forever bear the name Silas Coleman. He is the same as Anna Beth, Lynnsie, and Creek. His father is saying, "I am yours and you are forever mine."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Welcome back....maybe?

Three weeks ago today we loaded up in our driver's car, took a ride across Cali, turned down a gravel driveway, went through a gate, and walked into the orphanage where my son was spending his last few minutes in the only home he'd ever known.

What a whirlwind these past weeks have been.

When we left our house in the wee hours of the morning to head to Colombia, my heart hurt so bad. I missed my 3 kids at home before we even reached the end of our street. When it was decided last week that I needed to be the one to return home, instead of staying with Silas to complete the adoption, I had a mix of emotions.

Yes, I wanted to come home. Yes, I was sick. Yes, I was ready to see my kids at home. Yes, I wanted a big glass of cold milk (just being honest, yall). And yes, I felt guilty for feeling all of these things.

When I got in the car outside of our adoption hotel at 5 am - in the rain - and drove towards the airport....I missed Silas before I got to the end of the street.

What a joyous feeling that was. You see, it didn't always feel natural or "motherly" with him. Some days I felt like a babysitter. Some days I felt like a social work intern observing an at-risk child. It didn't always feel natural or normal.

Oh yes....there was love. There was fierce mama bear love. But i was choosing to feel didn't come natural every single morning. 

I'm sure our hotel driver thought I was a hot mess bc I was smiling, crying, and laughing/crying bc I was sad, missed my husband and son already, and so very happy that I was experiencing the same feelings of "missing my son" as I felt when I'd left my other 3 children two and a half weeks earlier.

Bonding had occurred. Attachments were made. We are gonna make at this mother/son thing. Yes, we sure are.

So right now, I feel incomplete. Everyone keeps saying "Welcome back! Aren't you glad to be home?" 

Yes. And no. Because being home is good, but I'm still without one of my children and my husband. And so we're just praying each day for progress and counting down to when we're all 6 together.

Earlier this week, the minor defender at court signed off on her part of our case - giving her consent for us to adopt Silas. Now, we just wait for the judge's signature! Once she signs, Jacob will go sign our part and then it's back to Bogota for just a few days to get Silas' passport and visa and then they come HOME!! Our rep thinks that the adoption will be final by the end of the, TOMORROW. if that happens, Jacob and Silas will be home next weekend. 

Please help us pray for this timeline. 

And when th adoption is finally final...I can finally share pictures of his sweet face 😀

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Change of Plans

Sometimes the thing that you've planned for doesn't work out like you'd hoped. When we first began making travel plans after requesting to adopt Silas, our plan was for both of us to travel down to Colombia and stay for the initial two week bonding period. This is what is required by Colombia. After our initial bonding period, Jacob was going to return home to our kids in the States and I was going to stay with Silas in Colombia and wait for the final adoption decree and finish everything up.

But things happen and plans change.

I've spent the better part of this week feeling bad. I spent an entire day in bed after going almost 18 hours without keeping anything I ate or drank down. This is not good on a regular day, but add in a newly adopted toddler and being 8,500 above sea level and things can get bad. Thankfully, our wonderful adoption hotel staff and our sweet representative here in Colombia were on top of things and got me what I needed. I was better for a whole day. 

On that day, we had a Skype session with our social work team back home at Lifeline. We knew that one of us had to go home to the kids and it was decided that it would be best if I did. Silas is bonding very well - but he's mostly attached to Jacob at this point. Yes, bonding is going well between the two of us....but it's going better between the two of them. And that's okay. I know our time will come. So the plan was made for me to spend a few more days here and fly home the early part of next week.

And then I woke up this morning feet dizzy, numb in my hands and face, unable to take a deep breath, and like I was going to pass out. This lasted until about 11 am. Super fun times. Jacob looked at me and said, "I want you on the quickest flight we can get you on. You need to go on home."

So it kinda sucks and I really feel guilty for leaving. I've waited years to get my son and now I have to leave. It should only be another 2 weeks before he and Jacob come home, so it's not forever. But still...

So I'm flying out of Bogota Saturday morning and should be home in time for supper with my kiddos at home. I'm looking forward to a few extra days with them and I do believe I need some one on one time with them to prepare them a little more for Silas and some specifics about him. I couldn't leave until Saturday bc of some paperwork we have to get tomorrow giving Jacob permission to leave Colombia with Silas, without me. And flights out late tomorrow afternoon interfered with an appointment we have for Silas.

The LORD is still doing such very good things here....the bond between Jacob and Silas is beautiful. It is becoming father/son completely. Silas prefers Jacob to rock him and put him to bed, they laugh, wrestle and giggle a lot. 

It's truly amazing how far he has come in the two weeks since we got him. And yet, it still feels like we've always had him. We found out this afternoon that the judge has our case on her desk!! We're praying that all signatures will be received around this time next week. Then it will take a other 3 or so days in Bogota to get his passport and visa for permission to come into the United States. We do lose a couple of days because of the weekend and a holiday next week. 

So please pray with us that this timeline sticks. I'm beyond ready for all 6 of us to be on the same continent, in the same country, the same house....forever. Or until all the kids turn 18 :)