Today we celebrate Memorial Day. Our nation has set aside the last Monday of May to remember those who have given their lives in defense of their country. This national day of remembrance got me thinking about all of the things we remember as a family.

A yellow ribbon around an oak treeI remember the night we met Tori. I remember how small she was and how I was afraid to hold her. I remember the trips to Children’s Medical Center, both to the ER and for the surgeries. I remember feeling helpless every time they wheeled her into the operating room and feeling equally as helpless afterwards. I remember the therapies and the doctor’s appointments. I remember praying over her as she slept in her crib at night. I remember the three years, one month and five days of uncertainty leading up to her adoption but I also remember the great joy of that day.

I remember exactly where I was when we discussed the possibility of adopting Tyler. I remember when our family was chosen for him. I remember meeting his foster family and agency representative. I remember being told he would always struggle academically and I remember that I could hardly understand him when he spoke. But I also remember the conversation we had yesterday on our way to buy fried chicken and seeing the 100 he got on his math test now stuck on the fridge.

I remember the night Brooklyn was born. I remember my anxiety because the delivery room was so quiet as the medical team worked on her pushing oxygen into her lungs. I remember them rushing her down the hall to the NICU before we could hold her. I remember taking a picture of her in the NICU so all of the family could “meet” her. I also remember yelling “red light” to keep her close as she ran down the block on our post dinner walk yesterday.

I remember seeing a blank sonogram screen and not being able to breathe as the doctor said “I’m sorry there’s no baby” I remember naming our baby Elvis and having to tell the kids that Elvis had died. I remember the pain and the silence. I remember the distance that grew. But I also remember the Lord’s faithfulness to us and how He brought us through it to a better place.

I remember the night Liberty was born and what a blessing her life is to us. I remember how afraid I was to hold Tori eight years ago every time I hold Liberty now.

I remember all those trips to the courthouse to just sit and listen. I remember being asked to leave the mediation room and sitting in the hallway as all of the lawyers negotiated our adoption.

I remember the adoption that never happened. I remember all of the kids who spent some time as a part of our family and I wonder if that time made any difference in their lives. I remember birth families, caseworkers, judges, lawyers, doctors, nurses and therapists.

This is in memory of all the kids that won’t remember us, the birth moms who blessed us and those we never got to meet. May God bless you as you remember today.

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