(the boys patiently sitting in position while I get the camera in focus and ready to shoot)
We decided to brave the storm and take a few family pictures of all five of us on Thanksgiving Day. My sweet niece (who is junior high) used my camera to take these. I had the boys get set and worked out the focus on the camera for her and then quickly took my place each time for the pictures. It was pretty comical trying to get Noah and baby boy to cooperate and sit still long enough to snap a few pictures. There was a little bit of drama with Noah---he wanted to climb the stone wall instead of pose for the camera, but we kept redirecting him and he was still long enough to get these. It was baby boy's nap time, so after a while---he got fed up with all the posing and had a little meltdown. And all the while -- sweet baby girl slept through it all.
I think there may be only 2 or 3 pictures out of the whole bunch where both of the boys are actually looking into the camera at the same time--oh well. It's pretty funny.
As imperfect as these may be...I will forever cherish them. They represent a special and exciting season in our lives. What a joy it is to see our family grow after such a long drought with our adoption journey. A tender reminder this Thanksgiving of how blessed we are---it still amazes me how we've grown from a family of three to five in a matter of 2 1/2 months. Heavenly Father has been so good to our little family. We hope we can stay a family of five---we won't know for a while whether or not we'll be able to adopt baby boy, however, we keep a constant prayer in our hearts that we can. Keeping our fingers crossed that he can stay with us and be a part of our family forever.
Taylor's birth has been such a humbling life experience for me. I feel as if a reset button has been hit for me. Before her sweet birthmother reached out to us back in August, I was at a point in my life where I was fighting becoming bitter. Having suffered our 3 very painful failed adoptions since last October--I was beginning to question God's plan for me and couldn't understand why Noah would have to grow up as an only child. But as I look back over this past year---as painful and challenging as it was--I can honestly say I have become stronger. We don't always understand why things happen the way they do in our lives...but we have to trust that God does and that He knows what is best for us.
My heart is full again this holiday season with a deeper faith and love because of little Taylor. As we celebrated Thanksgiving this year--both Noah and Taylor's birthmothers were at the forefront of my mind. I will eternally be indebted to them -- they have given me the opportunity to be a mother in this lifetime. They have entrusted their most valued possessions to me---to care for, love and raise as my own. And for that I am so very grateful this holiday season and always.