Welcome to the final Book Notes of the year, I can’t believe it’s already December 1st and we have had 12 link ups already! To see all the previous years link ups click here. I do plan on continuing this link up for the next year and hopefully it will grow to continue to share the love of reading and all things book related.
I already have a few ideas of some topics and books to share next year but if you have any ideas of themes, topics, or book reviews that you would like to see highlighted here, please let me know. I’d love to have your opinion to make this space a true community of book lovers!
Today I have another special treat for you. I have several friends who have recently written and released their books on adoption. I’ve shared with you Kristin’s story and Jennifer’s story, today I want to introduce you to another story, that of Ashley’s. To say that she became a mother in one day would be an understatement… she became a mother in one day to four children by the grace of God.
Her story is another about waiting on God, persevering through trails and ultimately trusting in Him to build a family in His unique timing and way. I hope you are as encouraged by her story as I have been. And now without further ado, here is Ashley’s story….
With each car that drove by I felt a rush of excitement. Could this be them? I saw a woman, the state investigative worker, get out of the driver side and start unloading kids; I saw a boy, a girl, then a toddler, and a car seat. It was them! I held back tears as I watched them come toward the building. I had to fold my hands in front of me because they had started to shake. I didn’t want to scare the kids, they were supposed to feel safe coming home with me. I couldn’t look like the emotional mess I felt.
I walked toward the main door to greet them into the holding room. As I opened the door, and was moments away from meeting them, the receptionist asked, “Are those your kids?” I smiled and felt a temporary sense of peace rush over me as I replied, “Yes, I do believe they are.” There were so many thoughts running through my mind in those seconds as we prepared to meet for the first time, “Am I going to adopt these children one day? Oh my word, they are beautiful. I am taking these kids home. I am taking these kids home! What have I gotten myself into?”
I stared at their faces as they finally walked through the main doors and started toward me. It was as if I was checking in the delivery room for ten fingers and ten toes. I was seeing these children for the first time and then I would be taking them home as mine, at least temporarily. I saw Jazmine’s bright red hair. I looked at Jonathan and noticed how tall he was. Christina was crying and so confused. Kyle was the smallest baby I would ever hold, up until that point in my life, at only six pounds and a few ounces. He was sleeping in those first moments though, so I had to admire him from afar.
Our agency worker, Tim, joined us moments later and we started going through lots of paperwork while I also tried to watch the kids explore the holding room full of toys. Instead of an experience, it was more a process. I was signing papers one right after another and we were talking about how I would need to enroll Jonathan in school, if I wanted to put Jazmine in preschool, and how we were going to have the bedrooms set up. All the while there was a thirteen-month-old crawling around the floor crying and searching for something, anything, familiar while the big kids started ripping toys off of the shelves and finding distractions from the boring grown-up talk.
The kids were hungry, having not had anything to eat yet that day (and it was after six o’clock in the evening). The same receptionist who I talked with before found them some snacks and they ate like they had hardly eaten anything their whole lives. I would later find out this was quite true and was only just a beginning glimpse of the neglect they had encountered in their short time on this earth.
My paperwork was finally done and there was now copying and paperwork for the workers to sign. I started a game of Hi Ho Cherry-O with the big kids when unexpectedly Christina wanted to play and all the cherries were abruptly on the floor.
My first motherhood moment of chaos happened in that holding room. I remember a few staff members who had been watching us and were now laughing innocently as I tried to keep Christina from eating one of those little red plastic cherries while cleaning them up and explaining to the big kids why it probably wasn’t the best time to play that particular game.
Around the same time, Kyle woke up and I held him for the first time. I was in complete awe of this tiny little man, even with the chaos around me. I realized as I stared down at his eyes, which were looking up at me, how amazingly blessed I was to have the privilege to care for these children, no matter how long. My eyes began to water and I had to find something to distract myself before the floodgates opened.
Michael and I had never imagined we would get the opportunity to care for an infant, and we were okay with it. We knew the Lord had plans for us and we had thought they were for us to adopt older children. Yet now with Christina and Kyle it was as if the Lord not only gave us this unexpected opportunity, which we weren’t expecting, but doubly blessed us. It was one of the most surprising aspects of this journey: being able to experience the beauty of the newborn stage at least once.
Ashley Wells is a wife, proud adoptive mom, writer, speaker, and sweet tea addict. She blogs regularly at http://blog.ashleykwells.com/. On November 22, she celebrated her one-year adoption anniversary by releasing her newest book Blessed Chaos: A Journey to Instant Motherhood. This book is an inspiring memoir about Ashley’s journey becoming an instant mother to four children through foster care. Below is an excerpt from the book describing when Ashley first met the children.
Alright now it’s time to link up your book related posts. Just a few things that I ask of you are:
- Link up a post(s) about your reading goals, book reviews, or anything book or reading related.
- Please only link up the specific post URL, not your home page.
- Also please either add a text link back to this post or copy the button below and link back in your post.
- Be sure to visit at least one other link to share in the love of reading
This link up will be open until December 31st, and for those of you who like to plan ahead, January’s Book Notes will be live on Monday January 5th.