Thursday, February 17, 2011

Celebrate Come on and Celebrate!!

To celebrate Gracie's Adoption Day, we had a pool party in July 2010. My former boss opened their backyard and beautiful pool for us to use. Gracie has grown so much since this picture was taken!!
We had sandwich trays, a chicken tray, veggie tray, and fruit. We had tea, water, and lemonade. Then we had cupcakes for dessert. I didn't get very many pictures of the actual party because I was in the pool with Gracie. She has loved the water! Swimming was a favorite for her during the Summer of 2010. She had a two piece swimsuit. I have told her this was the only time she could wear a two piece! Ha! Modest is hottest!! :)
Gracie with one of her guest relaxin and drinkin' a bottle:
Some pictures of the festivities

Friday, February 4, 2011

Adoption Day

The Haskins on Adoption Day

June 29, 2010

I remember where Gracie and I were at when we got the call from our attorney for ADOPTION!! We were entering Dillards at the mall, specifically the children's clothing section (I've yet to buy anything there but I do love admiring or could that be coveting!)! And we had just completed taking pictures for Gracie's 1st Father's Day Gift. I took the call on my cell phone and walked to the ladies bathroom while the attorney was on the phone. It is really large and has a seating area. I checked the stalls to make sure no one was in there and then proceeded to give the attorney our personal information. Looking back it seems kind of odd and somewhat yucky that I did adoption business in the ladies bathroom at Dillards. But I had an infant, needed to sit down because I was shaking from pure excitement, and needed some privacy! It was Thursday, June 17th! We met that evening with a county adoption worker to sign some adoption papers for the state child services.

We met with our attorney on Wednesday, June 23rd, and signed the Petition for Adoption. We had a great attorney and if you are in Oklahoma and need an adoption attorney, we highly recommend him.

On Tuesday, June 29, 2010, the adoption was completed in court by 8:50 a.m.!!

Gracie's Adoption Case Worker, Judge Kirby, and Gracie's Foster Care Worker

Gracie's Foster Care Worker was an amazing individual. I kept telling her she was an instrument used by God! I truly believe she was. And, I feel it takes very gifted individuals to work in the Child Services Foster Care Division. Our worker had an amazing heart! She gave us the very first pictures of Gracie at 2 1/2 weeks! I am so grateful for those pictures because we did not meet her until she was about 1 1/2 months old. The adoption worker was sweet too but we only knew her for a few weeks! Hallelujah! Because that shows how quickly the adoption process/paperwork/etc went for us!

Our experience to adopt Gracie through OK DHS Child Services Foster program was one of just a few unique experiences. We had the hand of God all over us and our case. It helped too to have several prayer warriors praying for us and our hearts desire. I know some of you who blogged prayed for us and encouraged me. Very rarely does a family take a baby home from the hospital and then adopts that baby just 6 months into the case. God had this planned before time began! Isn't HE just amazing!! He answered so much of my specific requests when I had those private times with Him. I am blown away just trying to recall it all. God does that though. He has always done that for Bryan and I. We petition Him regarding a job, a move, finances, schooling, a family, and He always provides or answers beyond even what we ask! He will do the same for you! I know He will! I think one must have trust, faith, perseverance, HOPE, and endurance. God works in His time. Doesn't everyone always say that when trying to comfort someone in waiting? They do. And often to that hurting person, they are JUST WORDS. I know. I've been there. But I'm on the other side now. They are not just words. They are experience. Trust him! He is in control!! Allow God to work out your journey! Place God before you in your journey and FOLLOW HIM! Don't get in front of Him!
"No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11

Adoption Day was an amazing day! The excitement reminded me a little of our wedding day. We had such wonderful family and a huge support group of friends stand with us. Several of the ladies who held Gracie while she was in the NICU prior to us meeting her came to the adoption. Our Childrens Director from church as well as the lady who kept Gracie's Baby Class during Sunday School came. Several of my girlfriends and their families came. It touched our hearts to have so many support us and be there to see the end of one journey and the beginning of another journey.

I can remember everyone sitting in the seats, we were sitting at a table closest to the judges bench. When the judge called us and our attorney forward, he also told our entire group to feel free to come stand around him, his chair, and us. And just about everyone did!! He was such a nice judge. We had probably seen him in court I think 2 other times. He even told everyone with cameras to give them to him and he stood on the back bench and took the above picture! A neat addition to our adoption day was the fact my dad use to work in the very same building where our court was held and the judge and my dad knew each other. The judge did not know this until Adoption day!

Gracie with her Pop and GranD on Adoption Day

Gracie with Poppa, Nawna, and one of her Aunts

This was just about on our way out the door. Notice Gracie had already shed the socks and shoes!

Bryan's parents took us to lunch later that day to celebrate. We ate at Cattleman's Steakhouse. The very same place we ate at the first night we met Gracie!! It was also Gracie's first time to try water from a glass!

I think of Gracie's birth mother every week. We never met her or saw her. She did not work a plan and never came to court. The state has been unable to locate her or Gracie's birth father. I do think of them though. I wonder if they think of Gracie. I've wondered if they realized her first birthday came. I hurt for them and I've prayed for them. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will touch their lives, their very soul and redeem them from their lifestyles. I wish sometimes, not all the time to be honest, that I could have seen what they looked like. I think I would want Gracie to know. Gracie is such a beautiful little girl. I'm sure her mom was so pretty. I wonder if her mom lives with regrets or if she has become numb. It is quite hard to reconcile in a human mind how one person can live so poorly, make such horrible and dangerous choices yet another family becomes blessed beyond words, beyond imagination because of what she has done. One hurts so another is healed. Only GOD can create, can carryout such a thing.

"On You O God was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God." Psalm 22:10

"Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you." Psalm 71:6

Oh, how I pray Gracie will see her need for Christ as Saviour. May she always have God as her God! He has sustained her! He protected her in her mother's womb! May Gracie continually praise His name!