Seventeen years ago today my life was a lot different than it is now, and what I thought my life would end up looking like bears no resemblance to current circumstances. I was living in the house I grew up in down in Woodburn, OR back then. I worked as a Tier 2 support representative for Dell computers and had just broken up with a long distance girl friend who lived in New Jersey. The breakup had been rough enough on me that I was thinking leaving my job and becoming a monk at the Mt. Angel Abbey might be a good way for me to put my years of religious study to use.
One year to the day later would find me waking up in a hotel room with my little brother the day before my wedding. It was the kind of change only God could bring into reality. I had met an amazing woman, my career had taken off and I was now managing technical support team I was part of the year before. Carrie and I would be moving into the first home I would ever own instead of rent. And still, on that day I had the audacity to think I knew what my future might hold. Kids, career growth, I was thinking this was a sign it was all going to get better from here.
Fast forward four years and life hasn't been what that 24 year old dreamed and planned for the day before his wedding. We bought a new house to be closer to my job and I was later off a month later. My dad went in for an angiogram and never made it out of the hospital after bypass surgery led to a fatal secondary infection. The kids we had hoped would come right away doctors are telling us will never come. The difference is now I'm not alone, I have an amazing wife, and we are resolved to follow the path God puts us on instead of worrying about what we don't have that we had anticipated and dreamed of.
So 12 years ago today Carrie and I were in the hotel room she had booked for a romantic weekend to celebrate our 4th Anniversary. Instead of celebrating we were pouring through hundreds of pages of case files, praying about whether a young brother and sister were supposed to be our kids. One year to the day later, a process the State DFS worker told us takes 18-24 months was finished and a family court judge signed the papers changing their names and making them ours forever.
Fast forward 11 years and our lives have certainly changed and been stretched by these two amazing additions to our family. That cute little boy, who came to us with reports from school that he had a hard time learning is about to graduate from High School with a better than 3.0 GPA. His little sister, who we were warned had more severe learning issues and may always need occupational therapy starts her first job in 2 hours and will graduate next year. Carrie is in LA today, but is flying all night to make it home so that we can celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary tomorrow.
Tonight, I get to take my son and daughter to dinner to celebrate another Adoption Day.