How We Do Gotcha Days (Selah's Third Gotcha Day)

How We Do Gotcha Days (Selah's Third Gotcha Day)

If you're new around here, you're probably thinking, "What the heck is a Gotcha Day?"

People call it different things, Adoption Day, Gotcha Day, but basically it's a day of celebration! We celebrate Gotcha Days around here because those are the days our children officially became ours. We were INCREDIBLY privileged and blessed that our kid's birth mom allowed us to not only be in the delivery room with each of them, but they both came straight to me, and I cut their cords. Those two moments, watching them both take their first breaths into this world, are ones I will literally cherish forever.

Before we went home from the hospital, their brave birth mama, relinquished rights, and they were placed into our family. At that moment, we were legally their guardians. In our state, we had to wait at least 90 days before we would get a court date for adoption. So when we celebrate Gotcha Days, we are celebrating the day our children officially became Satterfield's forever.

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When Infertility Still Stings

There were four yesterday. FOUR.

Sweet black and white pictures of little nuggets (that mostly look like aliens) fill my newsfeed.

And all these years later, it still hurts. Not nearly as bad, but it does.

I still get baby shower invitations in the mail, and it still stings as I hang them on my fridge. I rest my hand on an empty womb and I'm reminded, again, that my body was created to produce children. But unlike most every other woman in the world, mine doesn't.

I still ache. I still grieve. I still tell my husband when he asks me what's wrong. He still hugs me tight, and tells me how sorry he is. And I still run to Jesus, every single time. I still cry out to Him in the shower. I still run to Him in that pain.

And He's still there.

He still reminds me, 

for now

, that is not my story.

This is... and it's much better.

Almost two November's ago, we got "The Call."

Well, I got a text.

"We're getting a baby," my husband TEXTS me. WHO DOES THAT?!!!!

So I do what any

waiting mother

does, I run out of my classroom, and call him immediately. "Yeah. The case worker called me because she knew you were in school. You're going to be a mama! A birth mom chose us. It's a baby girl. She's due in January." I believe he was in shock. The rest I didn't hear. I heard a few sniffles on his end, and he heard loud sobs on mine. I was dancing around in the teacher's bathroom in the elementary school where I teach. Our math coach heard my hollering, she came in to hug and dance with me. Pretty soon, the teachers on my grade level started peeking their heads out into the hall to see the ruckus. My principal was there within seconds and wrapped me in a huge hug. I quickly texted our families to let them know before they found out from anyone else.

The rest of the day was a blur. Pink, bows, monograms, dresses, and dreaming of HER face filled the rest of my day and all of the days to come.

That was the day. That was my positive pregnancy test. I'll never forget it.

The days followed were filled with anxiety, excitement, and all of the emotions in between

. You can't possibly understand the extremes unless you've been there. Waiting. Yet again, but in a different way. This time in hopes that a baby just might call you mama.

We met the strongest woman I know

. We immediately connected and it felt as if we had always been family. She allowed me AND my husband the amazing privilege, to watch her child, our child, come into this world. I cut the cord binding them to one another, she was placed in my arms, and the weight of the miracle in that tiny baby's body crushed me.

The nurse asked who should wear the "mommy bracelet" and her birth mom looked at me and said, "Jessica is her mommy. She should wear the bracelet." In that second, she gave me permission to be Selah's mom.

After all of the waiting. After all of the negative pregnancy tests. After all of the gallons of tears I had cried over the years, longing to be a mama, in that second, every single tear and moment spent waiting, was worth it.

She's almost two now. That six pound, itty bitty baby, who made me a mama, is almost two.

And I can barely deal.

And the

story of how her little brother came home to us

, just makes me cry. His birth mom chose life for him. She made the brave choice. The hard choice. He is a miracle, and a little fighter. He has

overcome so much already

, and although our days are still hard, they are beautiful. He is our miracle.

I fell into the bed last night, dog tired. Like the kind of tired where you lay in the bed and your feet are still pulsing. I was rushing through the "before I go to bed list," remembered a few things I forgot to do, and then thought of the next day only a few hours away. I started feeling overwhelmed. Micah's Gotcha Day party is this weekend, he also gets dedicated on Sunday, and we have lots of therapy and doctor appointments to still make this week.

Selah wanted me to hold her from the moment I walked in the door yesterday. She would hold up her little hands and say, "Hold you, mommy. Hold you." So instead of washing the dishes that towered over the sink, or sweeping the cookies she threw in the floor, or making 24 calorie formula for my little guy, or priming his feeding tube, or packing my lunch for the next day, I picked up that little girl. I took her in the living room with that sweet baby boy, and I enjoyed those tiny hands wrapped around my neck.

I snuggled my nose in her neck and kissed her squishy cheeks over and over. I made baby noises and silly faces with her brother. We all laughed at one another. And I was there. Right in the moment with them.

When my feet were aching in the bed after a long day, and I started my "overwhelmed, you picked the wrong girl" speech with Jesus, His Spirit reminded me of MY story.

He reminded me of the hurt I felt when I saw those black and white pictures in my newsfeed. He reminded me of the sting I felt as I hung up that baby shower invitation on the fridge today. And He reminded me of how much better I know Him now because of all of those years of waiting, still with a barren womb.

He also reminded me of my story. The story He has written in my life. The story that is so much greater than me, but one that tells of His Kingdom. Not the story I expected, but better than anything I could have ever dreamed. He reminded me how tired I was because

I worked a full time job

that day, came home, and was a mama to TWO babies.

Infertility still stings. Some days worse than others. But I still run to Him, He is still there, and He still reminds me of the beauty He has made from my brokenness.

The story He has written, the way I know Him now, and the two brown babies sleeping upstairs, have made every.single.second, worth it.

So when infertility still stings, remember He's writing a story greater than you. A story that tells of Him and His Kingdom. Nestle up close to Him, and remember all He has done.

It's worth every.single.second.

*Photos by my friend,

Rachel Ackerman

.*

Happy Gotcha Day, Sweet Selah!

Depending on the dictionary, the word adopt means “to take into one’s family through legal means and raise as one’s own child.” Or I like this one even better, “to take by choice into a relationship.” We have heard this word so many times over the last 12 months. It is exactly a year ago that Brandon and I decided to head down this crazy road to adopt. As we began this journey, it was filled with so many questions. Questions from our family, friends, and even questions we had ourselves. “How will you ever love a child that is not born from you? How will you bond? Why are you choosing this when you could continue to try to have “your own” child? What about color? Aren’t you worried that she’ll get taken away from you? What if she doesn’t think you’re her real mom?” Believe me, we have heard it all. And to be honest, there were times we didn’t have the answers. There will be times we still don’t have the answers. But one thing has not changed over the past 12 months, is the confidence in the calling that God placed on our lives.

Today we officially “adopted” Selah Grace into our family. Although she has always been ours, today it became legal. Many people do not understand the significance of this day, so let me try to explain from what I understand. When Selah was 24 hours old, her sweet birthmom signed papers to terminate her rights. A birthfather was not named, so our lawyer went through all of the steps to make sure the adoption would finalize. Bethany appointed us as her legal guardians. We had to wait 90 days, have three post-placement visits, and complete MORE paperwork before we were able to get a court date. Today was our court day and basically we were proving to the court that we are fit parents and it was in Selah’s best interest for us to adopt her into our family.

This was a celebration! And let me tell you, we celebrate around here!

We invited 40 of our closest friends and family to come celebrate with us! The court lobby was filled with our friends and family. It was actually so full, it made our lawyer nervous. He was scared we had too many people to fit in the courtroom! As we were walking in, I overheard him tell the bailiff, “These people have a BUTT-LOAD of friends and family. Do you think the judge will mind?” The bailiff wasn’t the least concerned, shrugged his head “nah” and started to find more chairs to fit “our neighborhood” as the judge called it. Our friends and family were literally spilling out of the courtroom and we could not have been more proud or thankful to call them ours! We were so blessed to have them take time out of their busy schedules to celebrate this precious day with our family! It is because of their love, prayers, and support this day was possible.

Court is just intimating for the average person. My brother-in-law is a lawyer and I’ve asked him on more than one occasion if it is like the TV shows. You know the ones where the lawyers stand up, smack the table, and say, “I OBJECT!” He assures me that it isn’t, most days. Even so, I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous. It’s so legal. You know, kind of stuffy. Very strict and to the point. I barely understood all the legal jargon they were saying. The walls are boring, everyone is dressed up and so proper. The reason for this, is the law. There is no wiggle room in the law. It is the standard. You either measure up, or you don’t.

I know this whole day was about our sweet girl and her adoption into our family, but I think we would be failing Selah, if we didn’t truly understand our adoption in Christ and think about this day in light of His gospel. Our lawyer asked us questions like, “Do you understand you are asking for responsibility for this child until and after she is 18? Do you understand that Selah will receive your inheritance just as if she was your natural child? Are you willing to love her as if she was born to you? Are you financially capable of taking care of her? Do you realize the responsibility you are asking for? How has your life changed since Selah has been in your home? What activities do you do with Selah? Do you love her?”

Brandon did such a great job and thoroughly answered the questions, and although I was nervous and emotional I think I managed through it. I caught a glimpse of her sweet face as they were questioning me, and just couldn’t put into words my love for her and my desire for her to be in our family. But the entire time I was on the stand, I felt the Spirit say to me, “Jesus did this for you.” I was not only an orphan, but a slave to death. I was a not-so innocent, helpless, hopeless, enemy of the Father. I never measured up to the standard of the law. I brought nothing to this “relationship” except for filthy rags. And in spite of all these things, the Father loves me as His natural child, I am now His heir, and although He understands this responsibility of buying my freedom (death on the cross), He still chose me. He went through all the legal means necessary to adopt me into His family.

This day has been one of the sweetest days of our life. I worked so hard to make it special for Selah. As we were cleaning our house and making chicken salad at ten o’clock last night, Brandon reminded me that Selah doesn’t care if our house is clean. Let’s be honest, all she cared about was getting her belly full and taking her naps! But every April 7

th

, we will sit down with her and tell her the story about the day she became ours, her “Gotcha Day.” We will show her pictures of the clean decorated house :)

, all the friends and family who came to love on her, the kind judge, our lawyer, her sweet birthmom’s choice, and how tiny and precious she was. But more than all these things, we will tell her that “Jesus did this for you. Just like we adopted you into our family, He wants to do the same thing.” And hopefully one day soon, we will be celebrating a different type of Gotcha Day. The kind where the Father makes her His heir.

We chose you, sweet girl! Welcome to our forever family!

PaPa G, MiMi, Uncle Tripp, and Aunt Stephanie

PaPaw, Aunt Jenna, and Tio (Uncle James)

YaYa and PaPa T

                        Haley and Suzie. It seems like just yesterday we were at Suzie's Gotcha Day!

Haley, Suzie, and Sarah

Community Group

Mommy's Sweet School Friends

Michael, Callie, Crazy Tim, and Judah

Zach, Kendall, and Tate

Sweet Erin

Faith and Madelyn. Faith takes good care of me!

For you Uncle Timmy....this was only one of them!

The Satterfield's

Forever Family, April 7, 2014