Monday, March 22, 2010

Silas is Home: Sunday, Day 1

We are all back home, safe and snug under one roof.

We are in full-on survival mode.

I find myself recalling the bliss that is sleep with a certain far-away wistfulness.

I knew to expect the sleep deprivation. We're no spring chickens. What I was not precisely prepared for was the Everything Else.

I did my best to be prepared. I read the books and took them seriously, yet I hoped that they were worst-case-scenario books. I hoped that we would somehow rise above the fray, that we would be one of those families who talked about how much easier it was than they had imagined. It seemed to me that the real life people had smooth, seamless transitions while only those who wrote the books were war-scarred enough to actually write it all down.

Still, I remember pushing down increasing feelings of nervousness in the days leading up to our trip. While everyone around me buzzed with curiosity and anticipation, I did my best to ignore the kernel of dread in my tummy.

Yes, I knew that this was God's plan for our family, His plan for our newest son.

Of course I was day-dreamy over holding him for the first time.

I knew every good thing that was heading our way. And I knew that the good I saw coming wasn't even the half of it.

But I also knew in my heart that this would be the hardest one yet.

And still, as much as I tried to steel my nerves and clear my head of unrealistic assumptions, I was blind-sided by the magnitude of grief an 18 month old is capable of feeling. I never considered that he would cling to Cory and shove me away.

With two previous adoptions under my belt, I knew enough to know that there were plenty of difficult days ahead, but I was as shocked as anyone to find myself crying my shrively, exhausted eyes out in the middle of the night, wondering if we had thrown our peaceful family so off course that it might never regain its place.

In the early hours of the morning, or the miserably late hours of the night (whichever you prefer), that familiar intruder called fear creeps in, cloaks my mind in heavy grey, terrifies my heart. I know what I know, but I also know that someone has to be the exception. Someone has to be the one who writes the books. Why not us? What if God has mistaken our easy-going nature as one which can handle the unimaginable? What if it stays this way?

I listen to my new son cry his eyes out, I feel him shrug me away. I watch him try so desperately to put his little shoes on - I know where he's headed once he gets them on.

I whisper tear-soaked worries to Cory in the dark, then later, feeling like I might suffocate in the what-ifs, I make a middle-of-the-night call to my Mama.

She prays with me and listens to me cry and her voice remains calm and strong for me.

I close my eyes for the first time at 6:15 a.m. and I fall quickly into dark, peaceful rest. My second-to-last thought is that song from my childhood, "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it." My last thought is the prayer I prayed so often in college - Lord please, let this next hour of sleep feel like eight.

73 comments:

  1. LOVE and HUGS to you. Big ones. You will survive this and I will be on the other side with a fajita quesadilla and a peach margarita and we will dish about everything under the sun. LOVE YOU GUYS! Hang in there.

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  2. I have been following from afar. Hang in there. You are a blessing to your children. Children are attracted to love and security. He will find it! Best wishes.

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  3. I've been checking your blog constantly waiting for an update. I'm crying for you. Literally! I know though, that you will all come through this a happy and whole family. I'm praying for you all.

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  4. So glad you posted. Not sure how I found your blog, but have been reading the past few weeks. You and your family are in my prayers. Silas will be so blessed, and you will too.

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  5. I am so sorry that you and your family are going through such a tough time right now. I am praying for you and hope that the sun starts shining for all of you really soon.

    Michelle

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  6. Dear Lord, please calm little Silas and let him know that he is home...that he is safe...that he is loved.

    God bless you, Shannan! Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    In Him,
    Julie M.

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  7. I've been praying for you guys since they day you left. I haven't stopped...

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  8. I feel so badly for the difficult time you are going through. We are praying that each day will get better. Try and rest when you can!

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  9. One day at a time, sweet Jesus, that's all we're asking from You...

    He will give you strength for this day.

    I am sorry for the sadness. I am sorry for the fears. I am sorry, BUT...

    I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this WILL pass, and things WILL get better and easier. I have no doubt.

    We will rejoice with you as you are rejoicing and cry with you as you are crying. God bless you and keep you close to Him tonight.

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  10. Praying for you and little Silas:)

    xoxo,
    Lynn

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  11. I pray for the supernatural peace and comfort of God to come over Sila's little mind and heart, that God will somehow give him supernatural understanding that he is loved and safe and wanted...a supernatural sense of belonging, of being grafted in to your family.
    And for you, strength, peace, rest, wisdom.

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  12. Wish I could help in a more tangible way, but since I cannot, please know that I continue to think and pray for you and your entire family. Tonight's prayer will include some restful sleep for you!

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  13. i couldn't fall asleep last night after "chatting"...i was praying:)

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  14. Been following your story and I cant imagine what your going through. Pray that the time gets easier. I have a 20 month old little boy who is attached that I cant even leave him in the church nursery without him crying and being so heartbroken. I know this little guy hurts and misses the only thing he knows but someday he will understand its for the best.

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  15. tears for you sweet girl. it will get easier...it has to. god hasn't failed us yet. he won't now. i've thought of you so much over the last few days. i will continue lifting your family up. sending a BIG hug...feel it!

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  16. :( sorry for the hardships, but it will brighten soon

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  17. Shannan, my heart is with you. I feel your exhaustion all the way to my bones. I know your worries. I debated on whether or not to send you this message publicly or privately, but I decided that it's good for others to know that you (and maybe they) are not alone, and there is hope.

    Lily totally rejected me for most of the 15 days that we were in China. She cried when she was left alone with me. She pushed me away and shuddered when I touched her. She cried when I took off her shoes, because she needed them to escape from me. She did NOT want this mama, and it was heartbreaking to me. She clung to Rob and engaged him and teased him and smiled and laughed with him. As soon as I looked at her she dropped her smile and her eyes glazed over.

    She was starting to not HATE me when we got home almost 2 weeks after Gotcha Day. Rob helped this by giving me hugs while holding her (which she hated) and encouraging her to interact with me, like "Take this to Mommy" or whatever. And most importantly, he refused to feed her so that she could only receive her meals and snacks from me. This helped tremendously in her learning to accept me, even it at first it was only because she wanted to eat.

    Shannan, this will get better. His grief is a great sign that he was attached to his foster mother, and early attachment is VITAL in his learning to attach to you and Cory. I was very concerned with Lily in that she did not grieve vocally. I do not believe that she had a great attachment with her foster mother, who was just another orphanage worker. I saw signs of grief, but nothing compared to what you are seeing. I still work with attachment with her, not letting her sit indiscriminately on other adults laps or engage other adults the way she sometimes wants to. After four years, I think I can say that she has become very attached to me, but she still has a "survival-controlling" mode that she slips into.

    I firmly believe that Silas' grief is happening now, loud and furious, but that is way better than showing up as other attachment issues or displaced grief and anger later.

    He's only been with you for such a short while. Little Silas will learn to depend on you, especially after Cory goes back to work, right? A month from now, you will be at a much better place, and then maybe three or four months from now you will find some normalcy and snippets of peace and joy and a glimpse of what you want your family to be. A year from now? He'll be a completely different little boy.

    Hang in there, friend. I'm praying fervently for your family. Don't let your heart slip into fear.

    And everything is so hard with such lack of sleep. That jet lag, she is an evil lady.

    I'm here for you anytime, day or night.

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  18. Sweet Shannan,
    I don't have the magic comment that will make this all okay.
    My heart goes out to you.
    This post pardom.
    This wondering if everything will ever be the same again.
    It will.
    Sometimes you just have to say "this sucks."
    But keep going.
    Keep drawing near to the Lord, Cory, Mama.
    Sleep when you can.
    I know for sure that God is growing you for His purpose.
    I know for sure that He has prepared you in advance for good works.
    And I know that He is the author and perfecter of your faith.
    I {and so many others} are praying for mercy and peace for your beautiful family.
    You are going to be okay.

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  19. Hi this is Gina (neighbor to your in-laws). When we adopted "B" last year I went through many of the same feelings you are having. She was 20 months. I especially remember thinking how bringing her into our family had thrown us for quite a loop in our routine. Second guessing our decision to add another member to our family . . . But I knew without a doubt that God had called us to adopt her, just as you have expressed knowing this is God's plan for your family. We had some pretty caotic months of bonding that took place. It's hard for a Mom rocking her adopted child at night - yet the child won't relax in your arms and resists any real form of comfort. I remember the first time she really relaxed in my arms. We're not as experienced in the adoption field as you, but if you every want to talk "toddler" adoption we'd be happy to do so.

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  20. My heart hurts for you. I am fervently praying for you. God pays attention to those who call on him. Whether he offers escape from trouble or help in times of trouble, we can be assured he always hears and acts on behalf of us who love him. I sought the Lord, and he answered me: he delivered me from all my fears. Psalms 34:4

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  21. praying praying praying praying praying for you. Loving you too!

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  22. Oh Shannan... I just want to drive across the state line and give you an enormous hug!!!
    I am praying. Praying. PRAYING...for your sweet family!

    ((((hugs))))
    Melanie

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  23. I'm so sorry for your pain right now, and your exhaustion, and your fear. I know just a tiny bit of it--sleep deprivation, being rejected when you want to be able to offer comfort. I can only imagine the magnitude you're experiencing. Thank you for sharing it all. You are in my heart tonight, and I'm praying for you and your whole family.

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  24. praying...and crying. Love you.

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  25. Thanks for sharing all of this with us. I'll be praying, especially as I'm up anytime during the night.
    Emily

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  26. Oh sweet girl...I have much to catch up on your blog...but prayers and comfort will be what I will be doing for your family ~ I am so sorry it is hard right now

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  27. Love to you and your family...hold them all tight. The rain may be pouring right now, but there is a rainbow ahead...sometimes it just takes a little longer to come. I'll continue to pray for all of you!

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  28. My prayers go out to your family and my strength goes out to you....if I could only bottle my rest in a much needed care package, it would be yours.

    e

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  29. Been waiting to hear from you, dear Shannan. I wish you could be experiencing the joy that most moms have with their new additions. Knowing it will get better probably isn't very comforting for you this minute. I'm praying for peace for sweet Silas, patience for you and Cory and understanding for Calvin and Ruby.
    Know that you are loved!! xoxo

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  30. i believe there is a plan for all of us, and you are being watched over and your family held safe. keep going...you will all make it-xo

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  31. Continuing to lift you up to our father in heaven the comforter,
    the giver of rest, the healer. Be strong in the Lord sweet family!

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  32. Praying, not just tonight...but for days to come.

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  33. Shannan, My heart is going out to you. I'm praying for all of you.

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  34. I have been thinking about you. My heart aches for you after reading this post. Hang in there. Our God is great, he will guide you. I will continue to pray for you and your family. You have done a wonderful thing.

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  35. praying for you guys. wow. this is amazing what yall are doing and i know God is with yall and leading and guiding you.

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  36. i'm praying. praying for each of you. i just know that after so much pain, He delivers the most heavenly and amazing kind of love. i pray that it comes soon.

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  37. Been thinking and praying for you guys non-stop. Bless your sweet heart Shanny. It IS going to get better, and it IS going to get easier. I really don't have any other advice for you, just lot of hugs, love and prayers. I know He will give you the strength you need. You are surrounded by love, family and friends. xoxo

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  38. Silas was 10 months old when we brought him home and he was full of grief. Those first days and weeks were rough and my mind and heart were in a tailspin. Now we have been home for 6 months and I can say we are in a place I thought we might never be, in a new routine, and loving this family of 5. Remember God's promises for you, and thank the Lord his mercies are new every morning! Survival mode all the way!

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  39. Praying for his little heart to warm up to your love! Survival for him right now is clinging to one... for now your husband... he will soon feel safe and come out of survival mode! he will! He will see the love your other children have for you and want it too! Bless you for sharing your journey.

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  40. Love never fails.

    Asking God to give you this assurance today!

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  41. You all have really been on my mind. Still praying for you. Hang in there.

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  42. Dear Shannan ~ May you feel the loving strength, peace and love of God surrounding you and flowing through you at this time. May that Love, Peace and Strength flow through you to surround little Silas.

    Psa 61:1-4
    Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

    From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

    For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

    I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings.

    Psa 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

    Love, hugs and prayers for you and your family,

    FlowerLady

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  43. Prayers, Big hugs for comfort, tears, prayers, love. No answers, just confidence that this awful hurricane of pain will soon be gone. Confidence that this is only a storm that will pass. So thankful for your family for Silas.

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  44. O my,I feel so bad for all this heartache. You know this will all be better all go away soon. Soon your heart will sing as Silas finds comfort in knowing just how loved he is. Thank God he finds comfort in Cory,because that lets you know that comfort is possible. I'll bet the minute he stops crying he sees you and that giant heart of yours. Hang in there...<3 <3 <3 Donna

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  45. Praying for you, Shannan. God has a purpose. Blessed are those who step out in obedience and faith even when the path is dark and obscure.

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  46. We are joining the many who are lifting you guys up to the only One who can bring you through. Isn't it awesome that he has given you this platform and community of believers to lift you up to Him right now?? He knew. He knew you would desperatly need it. And He will continue to provide for the needs of you and your family. Hang in there Shannan. We love you guys.

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  47. sending love your way...
    let me know what we can do for you or the kiddos - anything:)

    xo

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  48. My granmother told me that the tears I shed will someday water a beautiful garden of joy. And that's what I believe is happening in your life at the moment. You'll blink your eyes, and before you know it, everything will feel "right" again, complete, and all of the tears you shed will have sprouted a new sort of growth - within the family. Stay strong. Storms can't last forever.

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  49. I too have been thinking about your family over the last few days and I am lifting you up in prayer. You will find a new "normal" soon and these days will turn into soft memories. God bless you!!

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  50. God bless you & give you strength to carry you and your new baby through this transition. You are an amazing mother. What a gift you are giving to this child. Be strong!

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  51. You're going to be fine. It will all be fine. I know this b/c you are a strong woman and a wonderful mother. Y'all are in my prayers and I'm so happy to hear that your baby is home!

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  52. I have been praying for your family and awaiting the news. I am glad that you are home safely.
    Children grieve in many ways. When my now adopted son came into our lives he seemed to immediately attach. He had been in so many foster homes and was older than your little guy. I agree with Jody.....I think it's good that he is doing this now. We had alot of issues later with our son. He will love you soon.......it will get better. ((((HUGS))))

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  53. I've been praying for you guys, because as much as I might TRY and comfort you, our Heavenly Father is the only one that can truely bring comfort. This scripture has always been a comfort for me. Maybe it'll help you too:

    "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."

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  54. Oh, how my heart aches for you reading these last posts over the weekend. You and your family have been on my mind so often for the past few days, and I lift up prayers for you each time. I hope you are feeling the power of all of these today from so many of your friends. Much love.

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  55. I'm sure these will be hard days ahead, but have faith that things will get better. Sending hugs and prayers your way, to you and your family!

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  56. Thinking of you and praying for you. God will walk through this with you and there is sunshine and rainbows on the other side!

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  57. I will continue to keep ya'll in my prayers!

    Mom's are great.....to be able to call in the middle of the night and have them talk(pray) through a difficult time.

    When Silas is grown.....he will remember only you as his mom......and you will be that MOM for him, recieving his midnight calls seeking comfort and gentle advice.

    Its so hard to see the future when the present seems so unclear. Trust GOD to lead the way and carry you through this time.

    When you come through the other side you WILL be a different person for the good! :)

    Peace and Love,
    Georgiann

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  58. Hi sweetness! I've been thinking about you non stop. I'm so sorry you are having such a rough time of it. I too was hoping you would be the exception. That Silas is one lucky little guy and he will realize it soon. I've been thinking about my girls and what they were like at 18 mos and what it would have been like for them if their situations had changed so much. I'm sure it must be devastating for him, for you, for Calvin and Ruby and I think you are probably mourning your old lives a bit right now even while you are embracing this new adventure. What ever you are feeling is right and okay. You are so very loved and I know one day in the not so distant future you will look back on this time and you will be so grateful for the progress you have made. Love and cupcakes sweet Shanny.

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  59. Hang in there sweet girl, even if you aren't the exception you are wonderful and he will see it soon, he will....and your family will be back to the easy going family you are just give some time, and don't be too hard on yourself....xooxoxo

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  60. Silas is so blessed to to have all of you, to be a part of your family. He may not know it now, but he WILL! I hope his little soul quickly finds peace. Hang in there!

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  61. Hang in there pretty girl. Hang on til your fingers bleed!
    Renee

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  62. Shannon I'm sending my thoughts, prayers and (((really big hugs))) your way!!!!
    Hug~Kelly

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  63. Ohhh. Praying for you and your heart and your new son right now. That Jesus will bring peace and comfort to Silas- sooner rather than later.

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  64. His mercies are new every morning...I'm praying that you will see the mercies, however little they are, that God is providing. He is faithful.

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  65. You are truly a courageous woman. I am praying for your peace and for the peace of your family. God will be faithful.

    -FringeGirl

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  66. God has blessed you with such a beautiful, loving family...and before long, little Silas will grasp onto that love and never let go!
    Blessings~
    Holly

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  67. Shannan, you dear girl. I've had your post up all day, not even knowing what to say. Hang in there friend, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Love will win.

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  68. Wow, I have just gotten caught up to speed with your journey thus far. You share with such humility and grace, it's been a sincere pleasure to read along. I'll be praying for ya'll!

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  69. I too was interracially adopted at a young age 40 years ago. I know the first days where rough for my parents but I have no recollection of that trying time and I am sure Silas will forget soon enough. I hold my adoption into a warm and loving family as the single most important thing that has ever happened to me. I am better person because of the unconditional love they gave to me not to mention the siblings I was blessed with. I know your children will grow up and realize the magnitude of what you have bought into their lives. For all the children in the world that do not know the love of a family and all that it brings, bless you.

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  70. Wow, this is just such an amazing gift to read. A gift because of your brave willingness to share what is on so many of our hearts and minds. I have had all of these fears and then some as we travel this adoption path. blessings and many thanks

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  71. you have really precious friends

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