And Now The Boy Is Ours

Yesterday we sat in court and waited for the judge.  He was running a few minutes late.

I am used to courts, as some of you might know.  But this was different.  There was no sentence to be handed down, no incriminating evidence to be displayed, no legal jabberwocky jousting.  Just our family and some friends.  The room closed off.  A private audience.

The judge walked in and we rose.  He sat and we followed suit.  He explained that as a family judge, he has a difficult job.  He has to break families up on a daily basis.  He decides where children sleep that night.  He always leaves someone angry at him.  He makes hard decisions for others.

But there are times when his job is rewarding in another way.  There are days where he is happy to be presiding, he explained.  And yesterday was one of those days.  A day where a family is pulled together under the eyes of the land and Crown.  A day where there is no longer any doubt.  Detractors and sceptics need not apply and linger in the halls.

A day of final rest.



When we saw his face, we knew he was ours.

Roasted mocha skin, winning grin, hair wild and tamed.  Boundless energy and a glowing gaze.

We were at a convention where hopeful adoptive parents came to peruse the local children’s agencies who were showcasing their young charges.  Hundreds and hundreds of children available, all looking for loving homes.  Some were already in loving homes – foster homes – but needed a soft and permanent place to land.  We had a crash pad ready to go, and an older-brother-in-wait who didn’t quite know about his potential new life job yet.  One that he would later carry out like he was born to do it.

We already had a biological child but had always felt the pull to adopt.  We had spent thousands of dollars and countless hours doing seminars, plans, interviews and God-knows what else to move on in the adoption process.  International was our first choice.  Ethiopia, South Africa, Vietnam.  Touch and go situations.  But when my DUI came about and the details of that came out to the agencies, we were red-lighted.  Flagged for good.  Black balled.  We put the plans of a new child on the back burner.

Papi* needed to get sober first.

And when reconciliation with my wife and son came to be months later, we slowly flirted with the idea of adopting again.  With international adoptions ixnayed, we hesitantly went local.  And decided to see for ourselves what lay in our own backyard.  It was a shot in the dark.

And that’s when we saw him.



The judge flipped through the paperwork in front of him.  My wife and I, our sons and our case worker all sat in the front.  Our family and friends sat behind us.  There was no court reporter, no security officer with cuffs and gun nearby, no fancy lawyers in freshly pressed suits whispering in huddles.  Just a smiling man with Coke-bottom glasses and a robe.

I could only say that my experience of court was profoundly different than when I had my trial.  And yet, I was sweating more yesterday than even when I was getting jackhammered by the prosecutor last year.  But this was a good kind of nervous.  An Axe Body Spray type of situation.  A first prom type sweat.  A receiving good news by mail type of perspiration.

“As of this day, April 30, 2014, I declare your name to be -” and the judge announced the name.  The same way I announced our newborn son’s name to the tired family in the hospital waiting room years ago.  The same inflection of joy and finality and assuredness that the moment was cemented beyond reproach and ordained by God and Country.  That the very words coming out of our mouths were as light as the air used to form them and as sure as the ground beneath our feet.

We all applauded and took picture with the judge.


We applied only for the little boy who we fell in love with.  We didn’t put in for anyone else.  Unusual, we would later find out.  We went through many interviews, home visits, discussions, paperwork and lots of hours wondering if we would be the lucky family.  The boy was half-native, half-Caribbean.  We weren’t native, so we had a strike against us.  They wanted to place the boy with a native family.  I also had to explain my DUI and alcoholism.  We weren’t sure of things at times.

We finally got word that we were the ones.  It was then time for supervised, planned visits.  Putting out toes into the water.  Forming a relationship with the foster parents and their family.  The boy’s own family here.  Learning the richness and heartbreak and joys of his young life.  Seeking knowledge and guidance from those around us who had gone down this path before.  Legal delays and wrangling.  Growing pains.  Watching the foster mother weep as my wife took the boy they raised as a baby leave for good.  But knowing we’d be back to visit.  And we have and still do.

Knowing that the boy’s biological mother was (and is) an alcoholic and drug addict put things in perspective for me.  It would seem the Creator put this young boy in my life as a way of paying back the Universe.  I have the privilege and responsibility of raising a boy whose mother is too sick to do so herself.  The same way I was too sick to care for and be a part of my own family before I got well.  A living amend, as they call it.  Living a life counter to my old ways and paying God’s grace upon me forward.   A cosmic IOU that I get to pay in full…and more.



We went for a late lunch after court.  The rain was relentless and lazy.  The boys played and ran amok (we had a private area) and we all took pictures, made jokes and  ate well.  We had a cake with their picture on it with the words “Brothers Forever” stamped on it.  We laughed and reminisced.   We finally landed at our place and hung out for a while.  Tea, sweets, board games ensued.

The boys were still bouncing around from the sugar and excitement.  They continued to play like they always did – with reckless joy and with a connection that only brothers can have.  No masks.  No pretence.  Just sibling love and adoration.  The occasional sucker punch to punctuate a point.  Random nakedness and streaking down the halls.

Soon enough it was pyjama time and bed.

They said their prayers and crashed heavily into slumber.  Weary from the day.

I went downstairs and looked at some of the pictures, and recalled something that happened just before the leaving for court – I had passed an image of myself reflected on the car window as I was getting something from the back.  I paused.  I took another look and thought to myself “wow, I look old“.  Well maybe not old, but different.  Aged, mature, greyer.  I almost didn’t recognize myself.  And even as I looked through the pictures later on at night, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was different about me.  Was I starting to look like my dad?  Was it something I was wearing?

I am still not sure, but perhaps it was because there was yet another piece of the Creator’s plan for me being put in place.  The complexion of my life was changing and it was reflecting like my image mirrored the complexion of my older skin and face. Just like when I see my boys come down the stairs sometimes and think – wow, their faces have changed, they’re growing up and into their own bodies.  Perhaps that is me right now.  Perhaps it’s our family collective.  We are growing.  We are coming into our own…individually and as a unit.  We are seeing where this path is leading us.

My face may be weathering, growing lines, getting roughed in, settling into where it needs to be, but then again, so is my journey, my path, my life. My boys – brothers first in spirit and now in name – have given me the gift of learning all over again.  They teach me.  And I have to be open to that.

Yesterday was a joyous affair.  The boy landed in our lives and hearts when he was supposed to.  We will honour his spirit guides and ancestors and those who nudged him towards us.  He was always ours, in the heavens before landing.

And now the boy is ours.  For good.


* Papi is what the boys call me.  It’s Spanish for “daddy”.

104 Comments Add yours

  1. NotAPunkRocker says:

    He is yours…and you are his. Beautiful story.

    1. That he is 🙂 Thanks for the support as usual, Sheena. You rock (but not punk)

      Have a groovy one 🙂

  2. Lauren says:

    My heart has always told me that adoption is in the cards for me at some point. My husband worked with troubled youth for many years and also feels that pull. We currently have 3 little ones already. We, at times, feel completely overwhelmed yet I can’t shake that feeling that someday we will be able to give another child a home with us. Sigh… I’m grateful for getting to read this today. You are clearly a great being. 🙂

    1. You have three already and want another one? Who’s the great being here? My neighbours on both sides of us have 3 and 4 boys respectively. I don’t know how they do it! But as for the pull – yeah, that doesn’t go away easily. We could have easily conceived, but like you, felt that there was a child out there who needed to be with us as we to them. Not sure why – just ordained that way, I suppose.

      You are one great, great being who makes my life a better one. Thank you for that, Lauren 🙂

  3. Beautiful post, the most moving personal story I have read for a while, thank you xxx

    1. Thank you SN – that means a lot to me:)

  4. Reblogged this on sobernoodles and commented:
    Beautiful post, the most moving personal story I have read for a while.

    1. Thanks again for the repost. Flattered that you would do that. Nice to have a wonderful support system out here 🙂


  5. Laurie G.F. says:

    Oh, this is fabulous news Paul! I am so happy for you and your family!

    And I know exactly what you mean about the “looking older” bit. I caught myself in the mirror the other day and was just shocked at what I saw. I came out and told my husband, “I’m like a real woman now.” Yes, of course, he gave me the “uh.. you just now realizing this?” look. I obviously had to clarify. “I don’t look like a kid anymore. I’m like a real, responsible, grown-up woman.”

    Throughout the “-ism” of life, we often feel lost – like we’re floating aimlessly, grasping at any little bit of detritus to get a foothold. Getting sober is like finally grabbing hold of something concrete. And then there come these moments when it feels like we’re actually doing this thing for reals. We’re not just being swept along through life, but we’re actually actively putting our mark on this world. It’s like we’ve finally figured out how to be a real person… you know, just like all those other people we used to think had things all figured out.

    Don’t worry, because “this too, shall pass,” but you’ve hit a new high point now. None of us will ever completely have life “figured out.” However, we do have these moments where everything falls into place and we see we’re just where we need to be and we’re standing tall. You have come through a big ordeal and you have accomplished something amazing.

    You truly are a blessed soul & I am blessed for knowing you. 🙂

    1. I get you with the “I’m an adult now?!” thing. That’s exactly what it was. Who was that guy? It’s like when calls me sir, I look around to see if a grown up is behind me…ha ha.

      I love your description of doing things for realies. And that’s how I feel sometimes. Like my old life was some piss-poor rehearsal that went stunningly wrong. And yet set me up for this life that I sometimes feel is too good for me. The grace of God works in wonderful ways, and I am so very grateful to have been given it.

      Things pass – “good” and “bad” – however we judge them. Lessons, for what they really are. I learn equally from the happier moments as I do the lowlier ones. Gratitude and humility often comes to mind in both. How groovy is that? As long as ego doesn’t fudge it up. And it loves to do that.

      I am the one who is blessed, my friend. I have increasingly become fond of your words and program and outlook. it’s contagious. 🙂


  6. Sue S says:

    Wonderful post, thank you, so glad its worked out as it should for you and your family. I’m an adoptive parent too. My daughter is now 33 with two little boys of her own and an absolute blessing, can’t imagine my life without her.

    Love and be3st wishes to your and your family

    1. Thank you Sue. Your response brought tears to my wife’s eyes when she read it. I think that glimpse into the future is what did it. And to see how it’s worked out for someone whose been down that path already. Thank you for sharing – means a lot to me (and my wife)


  7. Twindaddy says:

    Congrats, Paul! This is great news!!

    1. Thank you, kind sir. Great having you here, as always.


      1. Twindaddy says:

        You humble me.

  8. Al K Hall says:

    Congratulations, brother! The rewards of sobriety are blessings we will enjoy for as long as we keep our sobriety as our number 1 priority. So glad to see you’re receiving your well deserved rewards!

    1. Thanks Al! You’re right – the rewards of sobriety are blessings indeed. Whether they be the small things or the larger stuff. It’s all good. Even the bad is good – for the lessons they imbue us with.

      Thank you for being a part of my recovery. You rock 🙂


  9. mommyx4boys says:

    Congratulations on the adoption, such a wonderful thing you have done, I wish there were a lot more people like you.

    1. thank you, Diana. I think we all do things in our own ways. Adoption was more of a pull than anything. It is sad at times hearing the stories of some of these children, but am always buoyed by their resiliency and unbroken joy often. There are going to be times where he will question his adoption, etc. but we’re prepared to do anything to make the transition smooth.

      Thank you for being here 🙂


      1. mommyx4boys says:

        Sounds like this child is now the son of very good people, congratulations again.

  10. furtheron says:

    What a truly moving story.

    1. Thank you Graham – so glad that it resonated with you.

      He’s a lot of fun that kid is!!

  11. momma bee says:

    Oh my goodness, Congratulations! That is wonderful…. for all of you!

    1. Thanks MB! We are very excited about it. Now it’s just one day at a time… 🙂

  12. Beautifully written Paul. I am so happy for you and your family. Hell and back, now life has come full circle, enjoy every minute.

    1. Thanks SB…we are happy as well. Hell and back indeed – this has made us stronger and given us a new perspective on things. Gratitude doesn’t cover it enough 🙂

      so happy to have you here 🙂


  13. mishedup says:

    I am so happy for you, so happy!
    The description of the court, the judge and what he said…I was catapulted back in time to the day our adoption came final, the day our son was legally declared to be what and who he had been since the moment we held him .
    Our judge said words close to what you wrote, family court must be so, so hard, so awful so much of the time. What a relief and what a joy to allow a family to be what they are.

    I am so happy for you…

    1. Awww…thank you M. I am so happy for you as well. I can see that it left a lasting impression. It’s funny how many people come to us with stories of their own past when we discuss our son’s adoption. I don’t mention often that our son is adopted – he just is. And we have yet to run into someone being ignorant of adoption or saying the typical “how much did you buy him for?” type thing. I am sure it will come, and we are prepared to respond appropriately.

      But yeah…it is a lot of joy, as you well know 🙂

      Thank you for sharing, M – always a joy having your here 🙂

      Blessings and hugs,

  14. Kelly says:

    Oh dear. I wish I could leave a sensible and thoughtful comment. But my eyes seemed to have leaked all over my face. Beautiful post. Really wonderful news.

    1. Awww…thank you Kelly. That means a lot to me. We are very happy with it.

      And congrats on your anniversary again 🙂 Lots of love these days!


  15. sherryd32148 says:

    I have no words except to say that when you looked at yourself, perhaps you looked, for the first time in your life…complete.

    Namaste dude…and congratulations on the addition of your new son. He’s a lucky, lucky boy.


    1. I like that description, Sherry – complete. Never thought of it that way. Maybe you’re right! I think you are. You often are…lol.

      Thanks for the shout out and for being here. You’ve always been here for me through thick and thin and for that I will never forget :0


  16. imbak says:

    thank you for writing and sharing this..what a majestic reminder how grace works.. ..blessings to you and your family

    1. Thank you imbak for being here and sharing your thoughts…means a lot! Grace certainly does work in wonderful ways…ways that we don’t fully comprehend, but are grateful for. The universal machine and The Creator at work…

      Blessings back,


  17. Okay, for the record, we have had two days of relentless Santa Ana east winds blowing here in Southern California, so the reason my eyes were all watery, and I had to keep clearing my throat as I read this was because of allergies. Definitely not because of that stupid “Brothers Forever” thing you had written on the cake.
    My throat always closes up in a hard lump..when I read about cake.
    Or a foster kid that ends up in a loving home.
    It’s no big deal. Not to Mr. Hard-As-Nails,
    Maybe, this whole story, from its touch-and-go rocky start to it’s joyful conclusion, lowered my immunity a bit. To the pollen count. So I could see how somebody (like Lori,who always comes into the room at worst time!) would think I was blubbering because my heart was exploding with feelings.
    It’s an easy mistake to make.
    Anyway, congratulations, on your latest household acquisition. And…you know…for giving a deserving little kid a new and happy life, one he might not have had if it weren’t for the miracle of your recovery..
    Now if you’ll excuse me, my sleeve has gotten soggy from wiping it under my nose. I need to change my shirt. One without sleeves.
    So I can show off my tattoos.

    Tough as Chuck Steak,

      1. I know – he’s da man!!

    1. The Santa Ana winds have caused much more weeping and gnashing of teeth than any El Nino could, my friend. Underestimated. Even we Canucks know about them – nefarious, stealth-like, furious and yet put on a good game face. Pretending they are sweeping up the debris from the latest paper mache festival. Inviting themselves over to dust the shelves. When really there is malice in that breeze, Marius. So I get it. I would offer some sort of pharmaceutical reprieve, but not sure if that’s verboten in the Gustaitis abode.

      Frankly I don’t know how you had time to respond to this little thing I wrote, Mr. G. You have been deluged with your own comments since you got the fancy FP stamp of approval. Did you see my little trick over here, Mr. G? Perhaps too subtle. I had a sentence where it talked about lawyers with freshly pressed suits and put a hyperlink to your post. Get it? Too clever? I hope not, Mr. G. it’s all about giving back to the universe. You are muchly deserved of your badge (don’t forget to put it up on your page there, Mr. G. The widget fairies can help you)

      Your tough as nails nature is safe with me, Marius. I have it under lock and key. No one will mess with it – not even the Santa Ana winds can conquer that mean hombre veneer. Unless a poorly times Purina Puppy Chow commercial comes on and those wee hounds pull at your chiseled heart and cause an unmeasured amount of liquid to seep from your ducts. An anomaly, really. Random meteorite landing on the roof of your pickup type odds. You know what I mean.

      I hope you are managing out there at Trudge, Mr. G. Enjoy those crazy stats. Looks like you’ve made a friend or two over there. They are the lucky ones.

      Non-Freshly Squished Squeeze


  18. byebyebeer says:

    Moved to tears by this open telling. Congratulations on the formal addition to your family, though it sounds like he has been a part for some time and was always meant to be. I’m going to savor this beautiful post and your sentiments towards family for awhile.

    1. thank you Kristen…I am moved that you were touched by it. You are right – he has been an addition since day one. There was no taking him back! Over our dead bodies!! But this makes it official. We no longer have to run some things by the agency or go to them for official documents, etc.

      It’s been a wonderful ride. Thanks for being here 🙂


  19. This post brought out the tears. I am so happy for you. Having a child has brought me a joy unlike anything I’ve known, so now I am a huge softie when it comes to happy families. He is lucky to have you…and you him. How beautiful. Thanks for sharing this with us, Paul! 🙂

    1. Thank you Jeni. I know what you mean – having the little bambinos brings out a whole other part of you that you never knew existed. I can’t read or watch or listen to certain things that pertain to children, especially when there is pain, poverty or war attached to it. Hits too close to home, with the parental instinct and playing the “what if”s just a few too many times.

      Thank you for being here. Means a lot to hear from you.


  20. mike says:

    Hola Papi Paulito

    Usted es un hombre muy bueno. Mejor que yo.

    1. I can’t write Spanish but I can read much of it. And you are much too kind to me and much too hard on yourself, Mikey.

      From what I have seen of you and your wise and wonderful words, that doesn’t come from a man who is unsure of certain things, a man who hasn’t seen much, gone through much, struggled and surrendered, taken and given with full heart, played the odds.

      Right back at you.


  21. lucy2610 says:

    Speechless with joy and smilling 🙂 xx

    1. lucy2610 says:

      See I can’t even spell right! 😉

      1. Oh that’s okay Lucy – we don’t have spellcheck around here. I drop capital letters and miss blatant punctuation often. This isn’t a dissertation or final draft of a musical. 🙂

        Glad this resonated with you, Lucy.

        Always so happy to have you here. 🙂


  22. Lilly says:

    Congratulations to you and your family Paul – that is so wonderful! xx

    1. Thank you Lilly! So nice to see you here, my dear friend.

      I hope you are well. I need to visit more often 🙂

      Blessings and hugs,

  23. justanewme says:

    Big congratulations to the whole family.

    1. Muchly appreciated – we’ll take it 🙂

      Thanks for the shout out…always groovy to see you on these quiet shores 🙂


  24. Congrats Paul! That’s is just so heartwarming and wonderful! All the best wishes to you and your family! Sending many hugs!

    1. Thank you so much, Maggie! We received those hugs and they are very much appreciated 🙂

      So happy to have you here:)


  25. What joy indeed! Beautiful, Paul. Thank you for sharing this love with them, with us.

    1. Thank you Tricia…that is so kind of you to say. It’s been a long journey, but it’s now starting on a new chapter. And let’s hope it’s a long and healthy book 🙂

      Thanks for being here 🙂


  26. DB says:

    Thank you for sharing! So nice….

    1. Thank you, DB. Love having you here! 🙂


  27. jrj1701 says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! See I told ya, you know what the answer is.

    1. Ha ha…you’re the man in the know. Perhaps it’s that deep connection to God you have. Perhaps you have a peek into things. And that’s beautiful stuff. But thank you, JR. It’s wonderful to share this, and to have you here. Always a pleasure and joy to see you.

      Love and light to you, gentle sir.


  28. Erika says:

    ❤ ❤ ❤ Beautiful story, Paul. You write like a pro. How do you do it? How do you find the time to read us, be a wonderful recovering addict, and an amazing dad? Does your day also have 24 hours? How many do you sleep? Haha. You say I am an angel but your comments in my blog make my entire day, you are the angel, Paul. Thanks for existing in my path, really, thanks a million.

    1. Ah Erika – what light you bring! My day is as dull as dishwater in many ways, to react to your question. I am fairly low key, so I work, hang out on the computer, run, cook, play with boys, etc. Some days are a bit more hectic than others, that’s for sure! I am in awe of some of the other bloggers and some of my neighbours and others who seem to squeeze every little last drop out of the day! I am a beach bum compared to many 🙂

      Anyway, thank you for being here, and so happy to see you once again. I know you’re a busy woman! So I was very excited to see you post, even if it was just a hi. Big hug your way, my dear friend 🙂


  29. Beautiful post. A real insight into adoption and so honestly written. A real enjoyment to read.

    1. Thank you, Dr. T 🙂
      I am glad it resonated with you. I just had a quick jaunt over to your corner of the world and really enjoyed the last post you made. I must visit more often 🙂

      Blessings and thanks for the kind words. Made my day!


  30. Jeez, thanks for putting all my trivial little problems in perspective. Now what am I going to obsess on? Unbelievable Paul, god bless you all.

    1. Ha ha…that’s what we do, don’t we? Put things in perspective? That’s what happens to me every time I read blogs or go to meetings or do something in recovery. I get a new perspective or attitude adjustment. Get me out of my own inflated head. lol.

      Nice to see a family bloke out here in the sobersphere. Not a lot of us, but we’re tight. I hope you’re well 🙂

      Cheers and thanks for being here – means a lot.


  31. TJLubrano says:

    This is just so wonderful to read. Oh my gosh! Just wonderful how you wrote about adoption. I’m so glad you have found your little ones. The road ahead will be filled with amazing stories and adventures. ^_^

    1. Thank you TJ. That means a lot to me to have you here and to read you kind words. Yeah, we’ll have fun. Already do. Getting bruised up and tenderized like a cut of meat with those little hands attacking me as we rough house! It’s a blessing, indeed.

      Great to cross paths with you – hope to meet up more in the future:)

      Love and light,

      1. TJLubrano says:

        You’re absolutely welcome as I mean every single one! Aww what a great imagery, little hands and little feets around the house. So sweet! Definitely a blessing ^_^

        I’ll do my best to check in when I can. Got a hectic schedule with art projects. No idea if you’re on other social media? I have to browse your site a bit more.

        Have a wonderful weekend filled with little memories to make your heart sing.

  32. Tammy says:

    Happy sighs and leaky eyes. Thank you for sharing the joy of the grafting of your son into your family tree. Congratulations!!

    1. Thank you Tammy – hope those eyes are cleared up now. I love that term – grafting – in relation to this new relation. It’s been a labour of love, so to speak, and it’s been a pleasure to share. Thank you for being here – means a lot 🙂


  33. Amazing- so amazing. Thank you for sharing ~ Much love & mush from me (also with leaky eyes).

    1. Aww…thanks, you weepy wonder…lol. It’s been fun and while we will obviously have the usual issues with these two boys, it will always be cool to know that regardless of where the boy started, it’s where he’s at now…and also keeping ties with his culture and his foster family / bio family.

      Thanks for this…love having you here.


  34. Paul, I am so incredibly happy for you and your family! You are a bright light to so many and it’s wonderful to be a witness to your journey.

    1. Thank you Karen. I am enjoying this journey – even with the downs. It’s all about learning and growing. Being resilient – that’s your word I know for sure – is also something that I am learning to be. This kid has brought a lot to us.

      Thanks for being here…and for being the wonderful Karen we all know and love!


  35. Casey says:

    So wonderful to hear this happy news.

    Happy Gotcha Day, little one!

    1. Thank you Casey – so glad to have you here. I hope you are well. It’s been quite a week, eh?

      Blessings and hugs,

  36. Wow, that’s such a long and painful process, but such an amazing thing to do for a child. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

    1. Thank you Melani for your kind and warm comments. That part of the journey is over, but the next one has already started 🙂


  37. bethteliho says:

    Wow, that’s incredibly touching. I got a little gooshy reading it. I absolutely love this story. Congrats to all of you!

    1. I haven’t heard the word gooshy before, so into the book it goes. Thank you for that little tidbit, right off the bat. And thank you for reading this – means a lot having you here!


  38. Good thing I’m not wearing any mascara this morning! Wow Paul, congratulations to you and your special family. Thank you so much for opening your life up and telling this wonderful story. It made my heart bigger and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Giant hugs to you and loads of blessings, love and light to the family!

    1. I know! I hate when my mascara runs…lol. Anyway, thank you so much for the kind and warm words, my friend. I am so happy to see that smiling face of yours here. We are certainly blessed in many ways, and I have to remember that when little things start to annoy me. Ugh.

      Love and light to you,

  39. I am beaming! So happy for you and your family, Paul. Congrats! 🙂

    1. sorry for the delay in getting back you to! But I am so glad you found time to read this. I am flattered 🙂

      Just a few days for a certain day for you, eh? lol….. 🙂

      1. I know! Crazy!!! 🙂 But good.

  40. Such great news Paul. Truly beautiful. Children are God’s greatest way of showing love to all.

    1. Hi Sharon – I love what you say about children being God’s greatest way of showing love to all. When I was in treatment, we had family visiting day on Saturdays. And when the kids would run around, one of our counsellors would proclaim “the kids show us how to live!” And he was right. I learn as much from my boys as they may from me.

      Thank you for being here 🙂


  41. Lynda says:

    I am so appreciative that you are here. I’m sitting in a public coffee shop bawling! Thanks Paul xxx

    1. Awwww…I am even MORE appreciative that you’re here:) We need one another.

      Hugs and blessings,

  42. Paul, this so touching. First, there are so many frightening, yet, rewarding feelings which comes from a judge determining the destination and well-being of a child. For the most part, I can only hope and pray that each judge has enough dignity, credibility, experience and compassion to make these extensive and crucial decisions. I’m overjoyed this judge made the right one though… the only decision… after all, “he is yours.”

    From your words and thoughts here alone, your readers are assured how much of an incredible father you are. Not that we have any doubts whatsoever! Your sons are lucky to have a leader and mentor such as yourself to look up to. And from your past blogs, I can tell your wife has just as much of a contagious heart as you do. You both are blessed to have the Creator walking alongside your family. I can only imagine how happy your boys are now that your family is officially “One.” But I think they knew this all along=)

    My heart and thoughts go out to you and your family this week and all days to come. May you continue to celebrate with every milestone and new memory you and your boys embark on.

    1. A contagious heart! Oh my, that one goes in the book (the mental place I hold wonderful and dear things).

      Thank you for such kind and inspiring words! I don’t always feel like the great dad, but then again, I don’t think there’s a parent out there who is spot on all the time. We all mess up. It’s a learning process, and I am always going to be learning. And that can be a blessing and it can be frightening. But it is what it is and we forge on…like we do in all parts of our lives, yes?

      I am abundantly blessed to have you in my life, my friend.

      thank you 🙂


  43. First time I’ve visited your blog and it’s wonderfully touching. You have a big heart. I’m starting to do work with the juvenile court system and I hope I see a few happy ending stories like yours.

    1. Thank you so much for being here and commenting! Bless you for doing juvenile court system work…it’s often sad, but as the judge said, there are happy times. But the rewards must be the the children are where they need to be – somewhere safe and protected and loved. So thank you for that.

      I look forward to jumping over to your corner of the internet and checking things out there 🙂

      Love and light,

  44. I am not a crier… and yet, here I sit, crying. Paul, my most heartfelt congratulations to you and your family for finding one another. And the karmic wheels spinning in that story? I get goosebumps just thinking about them. God bless all of you!

    1. Awwww…wipe those tears, Josie. (Retroactively, of course). Thank you! I love when a plan comes together (well, I am lying – it’s His plan, not mine…but regardless, you know what I mean!) Blessings back to you and your wonderful family too, Josie.


  45. Lisa Neumann says:

    The Universe is so abundant. Congrats on your expanding family. I can’ think of a greater gift to give another human being. You are all fortunate and so are us readers because we get to share in the Love.
    xox Lisa

    1. It truly is, Lisa. thank you for your warm comments as usual! There is plenty of love to share – that is one of the lessons you continue to show me and everyone you touch. Nothing to complain about here.


  46. Oh Paul, I am so happy for you. Years ago a young boy of 7 landed in my lap, I didn’t ask for him, I hadn’t prepared for him, but when he needed someone, I knew that person was me. It wasn’t always easy. There were many times I questioned if I did the right thing, for him, for me, for our other sons. There were times I was sure I had made a mistake. There were times I prayed for my feelings to change for me to feel the love I knew that little boy deserved. I prayed for years that I would feel the same about him as I did about my biological sons, that I would feel as much.

    My prayers were answered. I won’t tell you how long it took, I don’t want to scare you. For all I know, you will never have the doubts that I did, but if you do, I will listen and I will tell you that you are not alone and that one day you’ll wake up and you will have truly forgotten that he was ever not yours.


    1. Oh Kary…this made my wife tear up (for good reasons) and yeah, got me a little sniffly. What a lucky boy that you have there. I understand where you are coming from. There are times I wonder “he’s MINE?” and there are times I wonder if I am fragmenting the love. But I know deep down he’s mine and we are all in that transition stage still. In the end your prayers were answered, and in the wee hours of the night, I would ask those same questions of myself too. It’s hard, but there is always light.

      Thank you for sharing your experience and your wise words.

      Blessings to you and your family 🙂


  47. stacilys says:

    That’s awesome Paul. I’m happy for you and your family. It truly is a high calling to adopt someone. I’ve never had it myself. I have trouble enough trying to keep my cool and be organized enough with my two (i did mention to you before about the possible adhd right? went to psychologist today and she’s thinking that it definitely looks like it – we’ll see after testing).
    Anyhow, I just want to make a quick (maybe funny) comment on this:
    “Random nakedness and streaking down the halls.”
    –We’re they having a “Lord of the Flies” moment? My son has had those moments with a little friend too.

  48. Oh my goodness…how did I almost miss this?!?! I was making meatloaf in the kitchen (in preparation for Christy’s sobriety party!!) and you popped into my head. I bet you didn’t know you could occupy the same space as dinner fare! I wanted to see if you had your half-marathon post up and then, I find this gem.

    You always have such poignant comments and kind words for me and today, I find none for you. Even a writer has a hard time describing all of the love and admiration that’s in my heart for you and your family. I believe in our Creator on good days and bad days…and then, days like these–well, He’s in plain sight.
    Much love to you and yours

  49. fern says:

    How fortunate for your boys that they have you to call Papi. 🙂

    1. It’s a fun thing. Hard at times, as you know, this parenting thing. But at the end of the day, and we check in on the wee ones, we get that heart flutter.

      Thank you for being here, Fern…means a lot 🙂


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