God gives us good gifts. I’m still reveling in that thought more than 4 months after Lilah’s adoption was final.

If you weren’t one of the many friends and family members who experienced the big day with us, I want to share with you the letter I read at court.

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Just a year and a week ago, we were sitting in this courtroom celebrating the finalization of Malachi’s adoption, and you were a tiny baby snuggled up on Daddy’s chest.

During the time preceeding Kai’s adoption, I learned that I can trust God in times of waiting. There were many prayers and tears as we contemplated jumping into the world of orphan care.

But it was different with you.

I will never forget the call from our licensor saying, “Malachi has a baby sister. She was born yesterday, and we need to know today if you want to take her.”

24 hours later, we met you in the hospital nursery and brought you home to meet your siblings. It was a whirlwind.

I think the greatest thing I have learned over this past year is that God gives us good gifts – beautiful, amazing, breathtaking blessings – that are sometimes unexpected and could never be earned. His love is delightful and lavish. You remind me of this every day. We didn’t expect you…but you were the best surprise. There is nothing we did to deserve the blessing of you, but here we are promising to love you forever.

You, my love, are a precious gift from God.

We chose your new name, Lilah Faith, not only because we thought it was pretty or because Malachi kept shouting “Lilah!” over and over when that one came up…but also because of its meaning. “Lilah” means “night,” and I’m sure you will face some dark things in your life, whether it’s coming to terms with the circumstances surrounding your birth, removal from your birth mom, and adoption OR other struggles God allows you to face. Our prayer for you is that you walk through these things with a steadfast and abiding faith in the One who made you and loves you. Lilah Faith – “faith in the night.” That’s our hope and prayer for you.

We promise to do everything we can to help you grow into the woman that God made you to be, with your unique and special gifts and good things God already has planned for you to do. We can’t wait to watch your beautiful life unfold.

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…Now, as we reach the end of the legal process, we’d like to thank you.

To Judge Hillary and his staff, thank you for enduring the difficult and sad parts of your job so that we can sit here today and begin our “happily ever after.”

To our amazing social workers at DABSJ, thank you for putting your hearts into your jobs and spending your days advocating for children and families. You’re making a positive difference in our world, and you’ve certainly made a positive difference in our family! We are thankful for you!

To our family – thank you for choosing to love our babies unreservedly regardless of who birthed them or how they joined our family. Our kids are so blessed to have grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins who love them.

To our church family and friends – I can’t imagine our lives without the incredible support system God has built around us. We are so blessed to be surrounded by people who are living lives surrendered to Jesus. We’ve obviously been impacted by those who actively live out God’s call to care for the orphans – Dana, the Perrons, the Perrys, the Sturmans, the Simonises, Cheri Kay, the Hoeflingers…Your boldness and courage inspires us and emboldens us. But we’re also so thankful for those of you who haven’t fostered or adopted but have prayed or brought a meal or loved our babies. Thank you for using your own unique gifts and abilities to encourage us and build up the church.

To Luke – thank you for taking the huge leap of faith into foster care and adoption. You lead our family well, with love and humor, pointing us all to Jesus. You’re the only one I’d want to experience this crazy adventure with, and I’m so thankful our kids have such an awesome daddy.

To Grace, Caleb, Ava, Jaden, and Kai – you are such great big siblings to Lilah, and I’m so thakful for the ways you demonstrate love and compassion and responsibility. You are each an important part of our family, and it’s fun to watch your unique gifts and abilities develop. Keep loving Jesus above all else!

And most importantly, to the One who orchestrated the events of our lives so that we’d be in this courtroom today – thank you, God. We could never earn your love and forgiveness, yet you give it freely through the gift of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. This adoption is just a small picture of how you take us – regardless of our own merit – and wrap us up in your eternal love and keep us forever in your family. We certainly don’t deserve your love, but we couldn’t live without it.

Thank you for blessing us with these six little lives to nurture and raise. Please give us the wisdom and patience and grace and humor that it takes to thrive in the midst of the noise and chaos of our busy home. More than anything, we want these kids to know and love you, so please equip us to guide them to that place.

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Happy adoption day, Lilah Faith!

Love,
Mama