If you’ve been reading my blog long enough you’ll know Halloween is my least favorite holiday. After having kids it has gotten much more fun, but I’m still not a huge fan. This years Halloween was full of good memories though so I’ll ignore the ghosts and spiders and focus on my happy kiddos.
Now that Halloween is over, November begins a period of celebration I can really get behind. Like Easter, I have come to feel that this time of year is a special gift just for our family. For some reason God has decided to group life events in clusters for me and November holds a few that are dear to my heart. It’s my mom’s birthday month, Thanksgiving, Evelyn’s birthday (I have come to a place where I can celebrate her!), and all month long we get to celebrate National Adoption Month!
I’m the kind of person that loves keepsakes. I get sentimental about the littlest things. For example, Josh and I have a shoe box full of little memories from our highschool years. Movie ticket stubs, a deflated balloon from our first Valentines day, a menu Josh made from the first dinner he cooked me. Theses are things I’ll never throw away. My keepsake hording only increased once I had kids. Squeaks specifically has childhood memorabilia coming out the wazoo.
In honor of Nation Adoption Month, I wanted to share a list of keepsakes you might not think of keeping for your adopted child. These are things I am super glad I have for Squeaks and I’m positive she will be thankful I kept them too.
Three thing to keep after adopting:
1. Original birth certificate.
This might seem like a no-brainer once you think of it, but a lot of people don’t do this. I don’t know if this is the case in every state, but in California, once an adoption is finalized, the adoptive parents are put onto a new birth certificate with the childs new name (if they have chosen to change it). Squeaks’ birth parents named her a completely different name and I wanted her to have that connection. I wanted her to see their names and the name they had chosen for her. It isn’t a legal document anymore but I have it. You may need to ask for the original like I did. Once it’s changed it usually doesn’t end up in the final paperwork.
Although we did get to go to the hospital and spend time with Squeaks birth family, due to extenuating circumstances she spent her first week out of the hospital with a foster family. We didn’t get to put her in her leaving-the-hospital outfit. The whole thing was a hard pill to swallow at the time. But, just like most of our trials, we can look back now and see that God meant it for good. The night Squeaks came home she was dressed in pajamas the foster family had put on her. Pink long pajamas with monkeys all over them. Something I would have never purchased. But after texting some homecoming pictures to Squeaks birth mother, she was thrilled to see that Squeaks was wearing the same pjs her biological older sister had. Those monkey pajamas are now snugly folded into Squeaks keepsake box.
3. Text messages.
I LOVE reading through the text messages from the day of and days after Squeaks was born. God’s fingerprints are all over the place! These are the conversations that led us to her with the people who worked hard to bring her home. The first text messages I received from Squeaks birth mother make me cry even now. The strength and love is overwhelming. Text messages from our adoption coordinator, lawyer, and home study case worker are full of Gods amazing attention to detail. The majority of them have private detail that aren’t mine to share. This one however is a favorite because it just goes to show how quickly life can change and how much God loves showing his perfect timing. Our homestudy had been delayed due to some misplaced paperwork. Not just for a few days or weeks, but delayed for months. It was driving me crazy and of course I thought it was all up to me to fix, it was going to derail everything, it was going to keep us from getting a child! I completely let my head run away with itself and forgot my God is bigger than paperwork. Then I got this text message the morning of January 8th completely unaware that Squeaks birth mother was in labor with her at that very moment. We got the call that night. That’s the kind of thing that makes you all giddy inside. Knowing God had a plan all along and that every detail is in his hands. So ya, keep those text messages.