This Is My Son.

The long awaited day had come! He bounced out of bed early, and eagerly asked,

“Am I adopted yet?”

Soon, my dear one, soon! Only a few hours now!

He got to open his special present from Grandma and Grandpa at breakfast – a box of 9 hot wheels cars (he counted them carefully, and immediately chose the bling-iest one, but also made sure to share with both his new foster sisters).

Later in the day we were driving on one of the many unexpected emergency errands that cropped up, and he said,

“Am I adopted YET??”

Soon, my dear one, very soon! Just a couple more hours!! We will go into the court room, and the judge will tell us –

“No! I’m gonna tell HIM! ‘I wanna be a HEIDMANN!'”

And then you’ll be adopted and you’ll be a Heidmann forever!

“And nobody can take me away?”

<Oh, my heart! That any child should ever have that worry!>

That’s right, my love. Nobody can take you away. You will be our son forever, and we will be your family forever.

Yesterday, God and I were not on the same page when it came to my plan – but then, that is hardly unusual.

In my idyllic scenario, I would spend the morning with leisurely cuddling and play time with my littles, then have plenty of time to get ready for our big adventure at the hearing in the early afternoon, at which the entire family would be present, and although Paul and I were going to have to go to Kino in the evening, we might have time to stop for ice cream on the way home from court.

Instead, weeks ago we found out that there was simply no way that Megan and Laurent could make it to the hearing – they had no one to cover for them at work. Then yesterday morning I woke to find that my elder son was having one of his allergic reactions, and his entire face was swollen, itchy and inflamed. I called the doctor as soon as I could, and managed to get a noon appointment, which meant leaving the house at 11:30 (which I missed by a little bit, which made us late for the appointment). I told the doc to hit him with everything he had since we were going to be taking photos later on that would hang on our wall in perpetuity!

After the doc, we stopped for gas and Jake grabbed a little smackerel for lunch on the go (I thought he deserved something for taking that cortisone shot with such panache). While he was inside the QT, Paul, who had come home from work at noon for the hearing, called to inform me that on the way home, he had discovered that his Izuzu transmission was failing and he had to get it to a shop ASAP.

So I  dropped Jacob at home, then ran to the pharmacy to pick up his prescriptions, then ran home, dosed the boy with methylprednisone, then we loaded up the littles, and drove over to the auto shop behind the Izuzu so we could bring daddy home. Then we had mere minutes in which to make sure everyone had on all their clothes and shoes,  drive down the cul de sac and acquire our babysitter and get her situated with the two little girls, load up and go.

Despite leaving almost 10 minutes later than we planned, we still managed to meet Jeff (who was able to skip out of work for a while to join us) and zip over to the Durango Maricopa County Juvenile Court, park, get all of us inside and through security before 4pm. We had barely said hello to our lawyer and were getting a rundown of what was about to happen when they called us in!

It was surreal to be sitting at the table in that court room, facing the smiling judge with my husband on one side, my sweet little man on the other busily coloring with the pictures and crayons they had cleverly set out for little ones, realizing that within a very few moments, and with a surprising efficiency of words, what my heart has known for two years was becoming a legal reality. It was barely 5 minutes after 4pm when we walked out of the court room, hugging our new son.

We had to stay a few minutes for some extra paperwork and instructions from our lawyer, so Jeff went on ahead and got Palermo’s Pizza to bring home for a celebratory dinner. By the time we got there we had about 30 minutes to eat before Paul and I had to leave and take Jake to youth group at SSJ before heading back down town to the diocesan center for our Kino class.

I will admit to being slightly distracted, which is a pity because it was the final session in our first course, and it was especially interesting to me as we were discussing the church’s philosophy of human person.

When at last we arrived home near 10 pm, my new son, who had stayed up to see the older girls when they got home from choir, and then wanted to stay up to see us, came running to me and jumped into my arms. Clinging tightly he exclaimed with exhausted sincerity,

“I’m SO HAPPY I’m adopted!”

Those of you who have known our family for more than a few years have some idea of the many ways that God has surprised us while we’ve been busy just doing what he put in front of us to do. We could never, in a million years, have dreamed up the plot twists that he’s thrown our way! Seriously. Most of the time we feel like we have no idea what we’re doing, and we almost never know what’s coming next. So please believe me when I say, this blessing was never something we planned or went looking for: it was bestowed upon us entirely by God’s grace. His grace enabled us to say yes to Him in the first place, His grace sustains us every day as we put one foot in front of the other and do the next thing He offers us to do, and by His grace we will, day by day, faithfully become ever more like mirrors of our Heavenly Father in how we parent our own children, howsoever many of them He may bring to us.

For now, we celebrate this particular and very precious gift

And because I can finally post pictures of his beautiful face, here are a few of my more recent shots to start with — many more will be coming!! 😉

Efrain Rafael Athanasius Heidmann


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