On May 14, 2018 our adoption journey came to a close when Spear officially (legally) became a Parker! (You can read about that special day here!)
I know people have many opinions when it comes to celebrating or honoring “Gotcha Day” and I’ve shared my personal thoughts about that in this post.
May 14th is a special day for OUR family unit. Not just Spear. Not just “because he’s adopted.” But because it’s the day OUR FAMILY became forever complete.
I had someone leave a really insightful comment recently on the blog post I wrote about “Gotcha Day.” They suggested rather than referring to it as “Finalization Day” that we instead focused on the entire FAMILY and called it “Welcome Day”
Finalization does sound, well FINAL. Like an ending rather than a beginning and I love the idea of celebrating “Welcome Day!”
Whatever term you want to use, we always want to set aside May 14th as a day for our family unit!
This year, Kye happened to be in Kentucky with the archery team. While it’s a bummer we couldn’t ALL be together – I also know that it’s part of life. Just because one of our Team Parker members wasn’t there didn’t make him any less of our TEAM or make the family unit any less strong!
Being Spear’s special day we decided to do what Spear loves – RIDE TRACTORS!
He wanted to go out to our new property so we had a fun morning riding the tractor and running in the woods.
At this point in our building process, we were figuring out exactly WHERE to put the house! Zach and I were able to map that out a bit while the kids played and Zach was able to cut down a few more trees as he cleared most of the property himself where our house will sit!
We had a chill afternoon with naptime and resting and movie watching and then went to dinner at Chic-Fil-A. Spear is my first kid to not want french fries – instead, he was alllll about the mac and cheese.
As a special treat, we even got dessert!
We keep traditions simple in our family. I’ve found the easier a tradition is, the more likely you are to keep it going!
Every year on his finalization day we wear our Step out in Faith shirts (the shirts we had made for our adoption.)
I noticed last year that we needed new shirts as styles and sizes have changed over the last 4 years! I reopened the shirt sales and decided to just keep it as a “shop.” This way I can reorder whenever I need more and anyone else who would ever like a shirt (or other merch!) can order too!
If interested you can check out the shop here 🙂
We always bring along our adoption journal as well as Spear’s baby book.
Our dinner is a chance to re-walk our entire adoption journey. It’s a chance to honor Spear’s story and his birth family.
We look at their pictures and share memories and give space for anyone to ask ANY questions they may have!
The reality is we don’t think about adoption all that often. It’s how Spear entered our family but it does NOT define him in any way. I like having this day to be intentional in not only honoring that journey but also making sure we DO answer questions that any of the kids may have!
We missed Kye but loved getting to celebrate the final puzzle piece of our Parker Family!
Being FOUR years out from the adoption experience I am still in awe of the way God aligned every star just right for Spear to be our son. It’s incredible to look back and see the ways in which He worked it all out just like it was supposed to be!
I’m forever grateful for that step out in faith and pray that Spear’s story helps lead others toward adoption as well. I always say it’s a heartbreakingly beautiful experience and it’s a path well worth traveling.