Three days ago I formally become a grandmother.
I’m not announcing a birth. Our sweet girl Brooklyn officially joined our family.
Our daughter didn’t get her that day. In fact Bee, as we call her, will not remember it as any different in her mind. Family and friends, outings, and later this week a party to celebrate. All normal events in her life. She will look at pictures, more than 20 months into her life, and probably not think of them as a big deal.
But we will.
When our daughter first entered this adventure of fostering, and possibly adopting, I had no idea what this would look like, but I was willing to jump in. I always loved having a baby to drink in, pour into, spend hours staring at and cuddling with. To love. And as you’ll read in later posts, loving foster babies has its own perils and triumphs. I poured into our daughter’s first foster baby, and had the gut-wrenching, heart-breaking experience of watching her go to a different family on her journey. (More on that soon.)
With her second foster I was no less willing to love her unconditionally, but with the sobering knowledge of no guarantees for how long. At four days old she was delivered from the hospital to my daughter’s home. I got there about an hour later to stay with her while my daughter worked, and from that first day I have not held back from this beautiful little person.
Now it’s official. As of November 26, 2018, Miss Brooklyn Jayne Haas is my first forever granddaughter! “Blessed be the Lord – day after day he carries us along. He’s our Savior, our God, oh yes!” (Psalm 68:19 MSG) Without God’s strength none of us could have stood under some of the pressures that have come over the past two years, but his mighty hand has held us firm as we pour out love to this child. His child. And now ours.
9. Brooklyn Jayne
Of the things I’ve numbered so far for which I am grateful, this little girl is high up on the list. In fact, we are over the moon with joy that everything is final and forever.
This relief is still new. Monday in the courtroom I listened to the judge converse with our daughter, going over legal proclamations, details she would need to follow up on in order to seal up our granddaughter’s past identity and begin her new life. With her new name and status as our daughter’s daughter. Real.
I can now exhale. I have always thought of her as our own, and now she is forever safe in our family.
Even though I knew her middle name was changing to mine (the way it should have been spelled, with a “y”), tears sprang to my eyes when it was proclaimed out loud by the judge. A part of me will always be a part of her. And I get to tell her the story of the spelling difference, our family legacy, hers and mine.
The older she gets, the more Bee will realize she has her own genetic heritage, while solidly part of our family. I have a lot to learn about how to recognize and celebrate the things that make her distinct from us. I will fumble, be oblivious to what she is looking for at times, but I am trusting God to prompt me to help this child be who he knows she can be.
I’m not one to ask God for signs, but when I think about a moody future teenager sassing me because my skin color is not like hers so how can I understand her, I wonder if I will have the resources to love and guide her through those trials.
Walking into the courthouse Monday, the sidewalks were generously splattered with puddles. Close to the door was a particularly big one, and I was contemplating a running leap when I saw something floating on top of the water. As I leaned down I recognized it as money. I picked it up, looked to see if someone was close by who could have dropped it but there was no one. So I stuck the barely wet bills in my pocket and jumped the puddle.
As I reflected on it later, I saw that God was giving me a reminder that no matter what the obstacles I think I have in front of me, he will provide. In this case it was $6, and I don’t know that there’s any great significance to the amount. Maybe it will be the start of a savings account for Brooklyn. Maybe there’s another use for it. It may seem like a small amount, but as Zechariah 4:10 says:
10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”
This was a day of small beginnings, and though the work has been going on for more than 20 months of her life, God rejoices with us to see this family have its official beginning day. And the plumb line is the vertical version of a level, the line that makes sure a building stands straight and sturdy and strong.
And that’s what I get to help do for Brooklyn.