I have a beautiful story to tell, about some of the most beautiful people I know. I got to sit in court yesterday. That doesn’t sound beautiful, or fun, or even good, but it was. I sat in on the final adoption hearing for this family’s second little girl. This family has now adopted two teenage girls and it’s pretty much the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. All family’s are God made, but I think this build-a-family method might be the most impressive.
So this couple that I know, Michael and Michelle, if you can believe it, are some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Seriously, they’re big Italian people and they show it in big Italian ways; too much food for every occasion, big gestures of affection, they go big, they don’t go home. I met them shortly after their first daughter Tali came to them. Tali’s story is one I was aware of from a very outside point of view. I was slowly integrating into the Scavo’s at the time, dating Logan and then getting engaged as she was getting ready to be adopted.
Here’s where the build-a-bear comparison really shines through. God gave them this little girl, yes? But she came to them as the outline of a girl, the floppy bear that needs filling. And they filled her. They did everything in their power to make her well, make her safe, make her run. She went from being on all the meds to keep her calm to none. She was behind in school, they’re catching her up. They took her and filled her with all the love they could stuff into her and put the little heart in and it’s basically amazing.It also took a very long time. Tali’s case was complicated, and stressful, and took forever to get sorted out. There were so many set backs and push backs and struggles along the way, but like I said: they don’t go home. They pushed for her, and prayed for her, and stitch but stitch, they got her. They wanted the Tali bear, and by the grace of God, they got her.
So last fall I’m talking to Michelle on Facebook, as we do, and she tells me there’s another one coming. She shows me the page and everything. She’s ready to be placed and she’s coming for a visit. And she comes and things are going so well, and practically from the first visit the social worker is on board, everything is working smoothly. Then there’s a set back; of course there is. And it pushes things back a little, but like God’s timing will, things move forward and she’s placed with them. So begins the six months of waiting, six months of filling. And just like with Tali, Michael and Michelle filled their new little girl with all the love they possibly could. Yesterday I got to see the stitches put in place, the little heart in her thumping away, fueling the smile on her face.
These are basically the bravest people I know, building up the bravest little army you’ve ever seen. These two girls are learning what it means to be loved from the most loving people I’ve ever met. God brought them out of the system and into a beautiful home and it makes me smile. If you hadn’t guessed, in our little build-a-family factory God is the bins that hold all the shapes, and the employee that hands them the shape, and the fluff machine that pumps out the stuffing, and the heart that goes into the little girl, and the string that stitches her up. And Michael and Michelle listened close to the instructions and pushed that fill button as hard as they could for as long as they could to put in as much love-stuffing as they possibly could and even now, with two love-stuffed little girls, they are still packing it in every chance they get.
Are they a perfect family? No. Do they still struggle? Every day. Their little bears need a lot of work, stitches mended, stuffing replaced, stains washed out, but then again, so do we all. And that’s what makes us beautiful, what makes them beautiful. They are pushing on and praying through life, and they are blessed, not with perfect lives, but with a beautiful, imperfect family.