Tuesday Nov. 5th, after 13 months of being home with us, the Lewis clan stood before a judge to have our adoption finalized. It was a great experience. We have wonderful lawyers and had a wonderful judge. Yesterday morning Joy Joy sat at breakfast repaeating to herself, "Joy Lewis, Joy Lewis, Joy Lewis". Then she would forget and call herself, "Joy Lewis Aquino". Being quite frustrated at this, she would shout AHHH, then start over; "Joy Lewis, Joy Lewis, Joy Lewis".
Though the actual court date was great, it was somewhat anticlimactic. She's been with us for 13 months, learning our family and living the life of a funny little girl. Her spunk and humor fit our family so well. My brother, Chris says that if we had searched all of the Philippines, we could not find a better personality fit than Joy Joy. This is so true. She has the sweetness of mommy and the spunky sense of humor of dad....a perfect fit. She loves her Uncle Chris and Aunt Summer, but no one comes close to the level of my dad, Paw Paw.
It is interesting that we have had few questions about her when we are out in public. Here we are a family of four very white people and a little golden brown Filipino. Yet no one asks. That is until the 5th. It was almost as if in the spiritual realm people could sense that this child was now ours. We were in Ben Franklin looking at some craft items when a little old lady walked up, "Can I buy that ornament she is holding for her. I've been watching her. She is so sweet. I'd just love to buy it." I said that she could...I have learned something about blessing. You may not want to receive, but in so doing you steal the blessing of the one wanting to give. So she handed my a $5 bill and we bought this pretty red sparkly ornament. Now we will always remember that day and the very sweet old lady. Later that day at the mall, someone else stopped to ask me about our adopted daughter. Maybe the difference is in her, now she knows that she belongs to a forever family.
As we arrived at church last night Joy proudly walks in and declares to all that will listen, "I'm a Lewis now". She knows she belongs. When picking her new name we wanted to make it special for her, keeping a part of her old name as well as the new. We also wanted to have a family connection. So keeping with the pattern of our oldest, we chose an "N" Christmas name for the girls. So we have Natalie Brooke and now Joy Noelle. My wife and I are Christmas nuts, so this is fitting. I will blog about the significance of their names closer to Christmas.
Suffice it to say, the Lewis clan is a happy family this week. And most importantly, Joy Noelle is a very happy part of our clan. She may not look like a Lewis...Welsh and very white, but by the grace of our God she has been grafted in just as we have been grafted into God's family through Christ.
I pray as you read this blog today, that you will find the direction that you are seeking concerning adoption. No it's not easy and yes it is expensive. But it is worth every penny and every moment of time you put into it.
So welcome to the family Joy Noelle. As you declared, you're a Lewis now!