Saturday, November 19, 2011

...and then forever happened...

i've taken the last few posts to talk about kate and our failed placement, and i admit it was hard to recount that experience and the emotions that come with it.  it was a very hard and dark time in my life.  i truly felt there was nothing that could ever make my heart feel light again.  sigh, it was plain awful. 

however, with time came happiness, for both parties.  i am so happy to tell you all that R met an amazing man, and they were married last week.  not only is he supporting and loves R, but he loves kate.  from the moment i realized kate was not going to come  home with us, our prayers immediately turned to this exact scenario.  studly and i wanted a happy life for R and kate.  a loving husband and father is what they both deserved.  we are so excited for R, her new husband Q and kate.  we love them so much.

you all know that we now have a son, boog, who we were placed with in december of last year.  what an amazing experience it has been to be his mother.  sadie (boog's birth mother) renewed my hope in adoption, and showed strength that i have never witnessed before as she placed boog in our family.

his adoption became official on the 14th of june. 

on the 29th of june, 2010, we were sealed in the mount timanogos temple. 

if you don't mind, i'd like to talk about that day.  yes, it has been four and a half months, but it's about time i expressed how joyful it was for my family. 

can i give a little background to why june 29th is so special to my family?  i know i did in a post a few months back, but as a refresher course...

i have an older brother, ian, who passed away when we were both very young.  he was born on june 29, 1984.  (oh, why yes, i WAS born only 11 months later.  irish twins are we)

i was sealed to my dad, mom and siblings (ian by proxy) on june 29, 1994.

studly and i were sealed to boog on june 29, 2011.

my little sister had a baby of her own on june 29, 2011.

oh, and studly and i were married on the 29th of july, making 29 basically the best number in existence.  

as one with a very faulty memory, i actually focused on remembering every aspect of that day.  let me tell you, it was probably the most beautiful day in my existence.  as we were getting ready to take some pictures on the temple grounds before the sealing, i felt as if i was on a cloud.  no, really.  light as air, and that is something considering i am not light in any sense of the word.  (unless we are talking about my legs)  i had picked out boog's outfit a few months prior and it had been folded nicely in his closet waiting.  if there is one thing i love, it's dressing up the boog.  i had even feared his argyle socks would be too much, but let me tell you what, there is no such thing as too much argyle with this kid.  he rocks it like he was born into a connecticut country club.  

that's right folks, we rock it connecticut style. 

my wonderful friend and amazing photographer jenny wheeler was kind enough to take some beautiful of our family.  as i type this i am looking at a photo placed right above the computer monitor.  tears fill my eyes as i think of how long we waited, and how much pain we went through.  you couldn't tell from this picture.  all i see is joy.  sure, my body shows signs of a fight, but clear as day i am happier than i have ever been.  

you know what i love the most about these pictures?

without a doubt boog is our child.  as much as any child is to their parents, biological or not, he is my son.  when we were going through the beginnings of our adoption journey, i remember feeling kind of cheated because i wasn't going to have a child with my traits or studly's traits.  how wrong i was.  boog looks like us.  he has our features, physical and otherwise. (you know, as he is sassy and stubborn to boot, but kind and sweet.  guess where each of those traits come from)  at first he looked a lot more likey studly, but as he has grown, he has so many of my own physical features.  while he has studly's clear blue eyes and gingeresque hair, he has my face shape and my grin.  i see myself in him.  what a tender mercy this is.  we were not left without any of the sweetness a parent experiences in having a child.

 we dropped boog off with the sweet temple workers in the children's area.  that boy saw the toys and wiggled out of my arms to play.  go figure.  toys beat out mom every time.  it didn't really sink in that in a short while i would see him dressed in white and he would join me and studly at the temple altar.

studly and i went to get ready along with my amazing mom, who kind of served as boog's, 'helper' during the sealing.  it was such a sweet experience to have her dressed in white with us.  the pain i saw my mom experience with losing kate was hard to bear.  seeing her with boog as he was sealed to all of us made my heart swell.  what a wonderful gram boog has.  

as customary with most temple sealings, our sealer, who actually sealed studly and i almost five years prior when we were married (neat, right?!), spoke to us about the plan of salvation.  it's such a beautiful thing.  over the years i have learned to rely on the plan of happiness because i had no other hope in the midst of my trials.  the meaning and my understanding have deepened although i do not claim to know or understand that much. as he was wrapping up his words, i heard boog talking to the temple worker.  babbling on out in the hall about cars and puppies and whatnot.  i felt pretty composed.  i was happy and deeply moved by the whole experience so far, but no tears.  can you believe i was bold enough to say in my mind, 'psh, i can get through this without crying.'  who was i fooling?

when boog was brought in, all bets were off.

not just for me, but for almost every single individual in that room.

my little guy, dressed in white slacks, white shirt and tie.  he was the calmest i have ever seen him.  i am convinced he knew exactly what was going down.  tears came quickly.  the overwhelming feelings of love and gratitude were too much to keep in.  we were finally tasting the sweetness after the trial of our faith.  boog was placed in my arms and i cried harder.  with studly following close behind, we both knelt across the altar.  my mom took boog and placed his tiny hand on ours.  i didn't look up at anyone.  my eyes were glued to our three hands.  we were finally whole.  

it is a relatively quick experience, being sealed, but oh, the meaning behind it.  boog is ours now and forever.  he was meant to be in our family and it is no different had i given birth to him.  i feel so blessed to have access to such amazing blessings.  

following our sealing we had a little party, because honestly, if there is a time to eat a bunch of cake and celebrate, this is it!  after so many years of waiting and wishing, studly was able to bless his own son.  you'd think i had sobbed enough, but as he spoke of how special boog was, of how loved he is by so many, i couldn't help it.  i was so proud of studly.  maybe i'm biased, but it was the most beautiful blessing my ears have ever had the pleasure of listening to.


the rest of the day was bonus blessings.

my sweet little sister was nine months pregnant and feeling it that entire day.  after the party, she called her doctor because she was thinking it was possible she was in the early stages of labor.  her doctor admitted her to the hospital and six hours later we all welcomed a new little spirit into our family.  

we had been joking with her that of course she would have the baby that day!  she told me she would hold him in, but you know, i was more than happy to share such a wonderful day.  boog and baby will have something to celebrate together.  oh, and isn't that baby scrumptious?  both of them?!

when i say all of our hearts exploded because there was not room enough to contain the joy, i mean it.  

oh, and in case you are wondering, this is what the day felt like in music.

curious about my religion?  go here.

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Ashtastic said...

Damn you Kenna. I was NOT wanting to cry this early in the morning.

Lindsey said...

I was not going to cry either...but hormones and that story did it to me again.

Red said...

So here's an interesting tidbit: My sister was married in the Timpanogas temple the first year it was open. I'm pretty sure they were sealed to their adopted son there as well. Small world.


Shannon said...

best post known to man. I can just feel your joy, kenna. really. best.

Krista said...

Bliss! I love this so much.

Kristine said...

That is awesome! And, how crazy so many things happen on that day. Does it make you wonder what will happen next year? ;)

Kim said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now...I found it through others in the adoption world. I have never commented, but this post deserves a comment. Your thoughts and descriptions of your sealing day resonate with me. So beautifully written & the I felt the Spirit the entire time. Thank you for sharing.

Michelle said...

My mother-in-law has the privilege working in the Temple youth center, the place where Boog went before and after the sealing ( I think that's probably got to be one of the best callings ever). The stories and experiences she has shared with me about adoption and sealings have helped me understand that our earthly family units are not left up to chance, but are part of a great, spiritual, and organized plan.

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