It's important to both Todd and I that we have one on one time with each of our children. Being in a larger family means we have to be very intentional about spending quality time with each child or else before we know it- life gets in the way and far too much time has gone by.
Date night means a great deal to the kids too. They get a date with dad alone and a date with mom alone. They talk and they plan and they choose their most favorite things in the entire world to do- within a certain budget. ;) They give each other ideas and they are as excited for their siblings as they are for themselves.
Tonight was Carson's turn. Oh how this little boy melts my heart.
Carson decide that he wanted to eat Chinese food for dinner...
and after we were finished stuffing ourselves with orange chicken and rice, we took a walk by the water and watched the boats.
One of Carson's all time favorite memories was boating and tubing last summer at a family reunion- only this year we didn't get to go... so this helped ease that pain.
After that he topped off our date with his favorite ice cream... chocolate with M&M's.
And then the most unexpected thing happened...
Over the top of his bowl Carson looked up at me, smiled and said "This is exactly where I wanted to be."
I know it may sound funny to some of you... and I realize that most likely he was saying this because it was 105 degrees outside and he was sitting with a bowl of Coldstone in front of him... and yet God chose this moment to whisper to my heart "and this is exactly where I wanted him to be too Amy."
You see, before we adopted Carson there was this family who loved him and wanted to adopt him with their entire hearts. We thought the world of this family and knew they would be an amazing family for him. While we had known Carson since the day we met Kaden (they were in the same awesome foster home) and while Kaden and Carson had a sweet and special bond~ we never really considered pursuing Carson as our own. I'm not even really sure why to tell you the truth... I guess it was probably because I was afraid to even try. Big families are not typically the 'first choice' when adopting through the foster system- and I honestly didn't think we stood a chance. All I knew was that we loved him dearly and more than anything we wanted him adopted into a good home. And so, that is exactly what we prayed for...and hoped that the family we knew would be the ones.
But through a series of events and circumstances- doors began to open left and right without our even opening them- and we were blessed beyond our wildest dreams to be selected to be Carson's forever family. While this was not how we started out believing things would happen, we obviously felt blessed beyond measure. Except for one little thing- the guilt that I have carried for over a year now knowing our being blessed left another family hurting, confused, and broken hearted.
As time has gone on, the Lord has made it clear over and over again that Carson is exactly where he should be. And that family, they too was blessed through the adoption of two precious and perfect little ones.
As Carson looked at me over that bowl of ice cream tonight with those big round eyes of his, as he giggled when we splashed our feet in the water and as he held his tiny hand in mine when we walked out the door, I decided to let that guilt go once and for all. This is exactly where he was meant to be.
I am thankful, once again, for a Father who gives us so much more than we could ever dream for ourselves... and thankful that He always, always knows best.
I love you Carson and I couldn't imagine a single day of my life without you in it.
Thank you Jesus for my son.