Kyle and I just celebrated our second anniversary on March 11. I always giggle a little inside when new acquaintances ask me to tell them about my family. They usually start with asking how long we’ve been married, followed by if or how many children we have, and then how old the kids are. After sharing how long we’ve been married (currently two years), followed by the age of our oldest daughter (currently three years old), I can usually see the gears begin turning in their brains, trying to make sense of Brinley being older than the amount of time we’ve been married.
When we were first married (as if it was a decade ago), I would feel slightly insecure during those moments of meeting new people, like I needed to throw down my testimony right there, explain my past and legitimize the whole situation. But over the course of our first nine months of marriage, the Lord began to reveal something to my heart, so remarkable, yet so awesome no amount of words could truly describe it well enough, but I will make an attempt.
Two years ago at this time my family was in a season of waiting. I remember swimming in uncertainty; questions of what if and how floating between the to-do thoughts of each day. When Kyle and I got engaged we knew we were going to pursue his adoption of Brinley after the wedding. Although we wanted to jump on this process immediately, we were required to be married six months or more before proceeding. We were equally giddy, antsy, and concerned during those few months. All I knew was the promise God had given me when I was still pregnant with Brinley: He had the perfect daddy picked out for her, who would adopt her; she would be his very own daughter and he would be her very own daddy.
Even with this promise, as the six-month mark closed in (September 2011), I wondered if we should really pursue the adoption. Life was peaceful and sweet. I did not want to stir the pot, for fear of poisonous overflow disrupting this beautiful thing we had going. But I felt God urging my spirit, urging Kyle and I to, “Go!” And God directed us to a God loving lawyer, who began our case in October.
After about two months of subpoenas, the biological father had wholly defaulted, and failed to respond. Kyle and I were summoned to appear before a judge the very early morning of December 8, 2011. (Did I mention I was eight months pregnant at this time, too? It was a sweet time, but so much was happening.) Kyle walked and I waddled up to the bench in the courtroom. What was going to happen? Would the judge order further investigation? Would she see our case as truth or desire more evidence?
We stated a few facts for the record, like our names, birthdays, that sort of thing. I had to state Brinley’s name, birth facts, etc. And then we waited. For a few minutes that felt like hours, the judge flipped through the pages of our case file prepared by our attorney. When she looked back up at us, she stated as a matter of fact, the biological father’s rights were involuntarily terminated; Kyle Fox was the new legal guardian and father of the child; Brinley Elizabeth Hope is now Brinley Elizabeth Fox. Knock! She hit her gavel, signed a paper, and declared the file completely closed and sealed never to be reopened.
My sighs and tears pierced the deafening silence of the courtroom. That was it. Within a few brief sentences I witnessed a promise God gave me brought to life. I could never have known it would happen in such a way, and there were many days I wondered if it would actually happen at all. But I had a knowing in my spirit that I couldn’t have made up a promise like that, a promise of a good and perfect gift could only come from Him. The judge asked if I was going to be okay, and I nodded and tried to get out some kind of mumbled response like, “… they’re just happy tears…”
Brinley was back home sleeping, and we made it home before she awoke. When she started babbling on the baby monitor, nothing could have slowed Kyle from bolting into her room to announce all that was made official just an hour before. And while she was too little to understand, the joy and elation gushing from him, as her daddy, is amidst the most beautiful memories in my heart.
The entire process, every event taking place to reach this beautiful moment, was part of God’s unmistakable plan to reveal a glimpse of His adoption of me and matchless love for me, his daughter. The journey of Jesus’ life was not necessarily enjoyable. The price He paid, so that I could be a child of God was ultimate, the greatest sacrifice. But the end result? Oh, it is glorious, because nothing can separate me from my Savior. The deal is sealed, just like Brinley’s adoption decree. So now, when people ask me about my family, my children, etc., it brings me joy—the way we became a family unit–regardless of their internal calculating or judgment, because I know our story and it is a great picture of my very own Father’s love.
Brinley dashes to the door when Kyle gets home from work, squealing, “Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!” He answers so proudly to this name, meeting her inside the door, scooping her up in his arms, squeezing her tightly. She is secure in his love for her, his protection of her, and He is enamored with his princess. There is no other daddy on this earth to her. There is no one equipped for the job of being just the daddy she needs quite like Kyle. What an honor to be entrusted with the raising of her little, sparkling face!
Did you know this is God’s love for you? From the moment you were conceived, God has longed to be this kind of love and provision for you. He has giddily, excitedly, and fervently awaited the arrival of His child, to run unabashedly into His outstretched arms. Jesus died on the cross, and sealed your adoption decree with his blood, so that you could experience the most unflawed, overwhelming, abundant love of the most perfect Father. Because of this, we have access to endless love; mercy; grace; forgiveness; wisdom; the list goes on. We are His forever and always, no matter the past. We cannot be separated from His love.
He is waiting to meet you where you are, to be all you need. He cannot wait to call you part of His family, his very own child! Will you entrust your life to His plan, be secure in his love and protection for you? The inheritance is rich and the company is sweet.
Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. – Ephesians 1:11
by Jacqueline Fox