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It's Christopher Appreciation Day!

One week after celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary, we got the phone call that changed our status in life from being what some people these day refer to as DINKs--double income no kids--to proud parents of a new little girl, who was a month and two days old when we got her. Lindsey arrived and our lives revolved around this new little being who brought joy and happiness to our home. Lindsey was such a perfect addition to our family and we knew we wanted more kids. I still hung onto hope that I would one day give birth and continued to pursue adoption and fertility means. Our marriage had the typical ups and downs, and we eventually applied for the next adoption.

I struggled with the notion that I wanted to not just get placed with any random baby, whom ever was up for the next adoption. I didn't want to just get just "any" baby, but the right one, one who was truly meant to be ours. We had been so perfectly matched with Lindsey, and I didn't want to be matched up just because he or she was the next on the list to be born. I also knew I wanted to have a son next. I felt like I was being picky, but I didn't care. It was one control I felt like I had since I was adopting and couldn't manage to give birth myself. We were told that it could take longer, if we were to indicate that we preferred a boy. That was fine with me. I could wait.

At one point, Kelly and I got a call from the agency that a baby boy was due to arrive and that the birth mother had expressed interest in us as potential adoptive parents. They liked that he would have an older sibling. The social worker told us that there was one stipulation that we might not feel good about--that the birth mother and birth father wanted to name the baby. He was right, we didn't like that, and it did not feel right. We declined. For some reason that bothered us. We wanted to name our child ourselves. This one was not the right baby.

Some time passed and while I was visiting some family in Utah, I got a telephone call from the agency again. This time, there was another birth mother who was considering us as adoptive parents for her baby boy who would soon be born. This baby boy also came with new concerns, and was identified as a high-risk placement, due to the uncertainty of the birth father's cooperation to relinquish his rights. While being able choose the name of the baby seemed to be a tough hurdle, this one also seemed to be a potentially scary risk to face. I was unsure of it, but didn't have to give an answer until I returned home from my trip to Utah. I discussed the possibility with Kelly and neither of us felt good about this situation.

In the long road trip from Utah to Colorado, something had changed. I had a lot of time to think over the situation, and my instincts told me that this baby should be ours. I just needed to convince Kelly once I got home and to plea my case with him. Strangely, the same shift in Kelly's mind occurred, and he thought he would need to persuade me. We were both surprised and delighted once we got back together, and were both hopeful and very enthusiastic about the little boy who was soon to be born. This baby felt like the right one, and not just the next in line, and I was prepared for the outcome, if the worse case should lead to the placement falling through.

We got word that this little boy had been born and arrangements were made for us to meet his birth mother and her parents. The meeting was filled with tears, by me and by the birth mother, and was a really special moment. She felt good about placing the baby with us, and we were happy to get to know her a bit more. Her parents didn't seem to be as thrilled with the placement, but were supportive in any case. It was an extremely emotional and wonderful visit that helped both parties involved. We only went by first names to keep our identities preserved. I presented her with a small gift, to express my love and gratitude for her, and that I would always speak positively about her to this child. This small token of my love and gratitude was a pendant that I had made of the baby's birthstone, in a stone that was tri-cut to represent the baby, the birth mother, and me, the adoptive mother. It was a simple gesture that I was compelled to offer, even though it felt minuscule in comparison to what I would receive. The name we chose for him was Christopher Kelly.
This was ten years ago today, on October 22, 1997, back in the office of LDS Family Services off of Colfax and I-70 in Denver, where we had greeted our first baby with open arms. Six years later on this day, little Lindsey was escorted into a room with Miss Kay (pictured), and Mr. Ken, then was gently given this little boy in her arms, to carry in to us, to place in my arms. She walked into the room carrying her new little brother, Christopher, and wasn't exactly sure why I was crying about it. None of the high-risk placement concerns ever were an issue, as were initially feared. All went well, and Christopher's birth father relinquished his parental rights without a hitch. After several months the adoption was finalized and we were sealed together as a family in the Denver Temple. Here's a classic shot of our baby Christopher sucking on his pacifier while lounging in a very cool flotation device at the neighborhood pool, across the street from our house in Colorado.
This was the day of Christopher's blessing, which could not take place until after the adoption was final.
Look at these two cutie pies. Christopher has looked up to his big sister from day one!
Happy Christopher Appreciation Day to our sweet son! I love you so much, Christopher! We got the right one, for sure! We're going to play some fun games at home tonight to celebrate.

Comments

What an awesome event to celebrate. This post made me tear up especially after seeing the picture of you meeting Christopher. Thank you for sharing.
meganmullins said…
I got tears in my eyes as I read this post. Thanks for sharing this amazing story. I especially loved the first picture in the post.
so special. i agree, i think christopher was meant to be in your family. he's such a great kid.
~ Tina said…
What an amazing blessing to be celebrating 10 years later! Seriously, although the kids have grown/matured - you ALL look essentially the same!
Heidi said…
That is such a touching photo of you crying! What a special day for your fam!
Holly said…
Kelly, those pictures are SO precious! What a special time to remember and "appreciate."
That is an amazing photo to capture the moment of you seeing your son for the first time. Lindsey's smile is precious, as she's looking up at you to see what you think. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Summer Adams said…
*YAY* I still love this story! It makes me cry every time. I looove that you have these appreciation days. And I love all the old pics :) What a cutie Christopher is!
Julie V. said…
Kelly, I have never seen that photo of Lindsey handing her brother to your for the first time. The second I saw it I instantly started to bawl. It is a beautiful picture. Your face says it all. Thanks for sharing.
Congratulations Christopher.
Julie said…
What an amazing story Kelly! It brought tears to my eyes but the flood gates really opened when I saw the picture of Lindsey placing Christopher in your arms and your face says it all. A picture is definitely worth a thousand words!
Kellie said…
Thanks for sharing! Your family is truly an adoption success story!! I've had friends on both sides of adoption, and I know adoption is such a blessing. I also think it is so important to feel like you are getting the right baby for your family (as you certainly did!!) When someone gives birth to their own child, they know that child was sent from Heavenly Father. When you adopt, it is such a blessing to gain the testimony this child is yours. Christopher certainly is. You have two great kids!

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