So I’ve have clearly been on an extended hiatus; not because I haven’t had anything to write about, quite the contrary, rather I simply have not had the time to devote to writing. That said, there has been enough going on as of late that it warranted clearing enough of my schedule to pound out a couple of pages.
First, we finally finalized on our adoption back in August. After several months of the court jerking us around we were able to get a date out of them. We were contacted in mid-August and told that all of our paperwork was in line but that we were missing one key piece of information, our fingerprints and corresponding background checks. More than a little frustrated I explained that we had already been fingerprinted back in January in order to be certified as potential adoptive parents; I was then told that the fingerprinting only had a six-month shelf life and that ours had, unfortunately, expired. And so it was that we found ourselves scrambling to get another appointment scheduled so that we could get our fingerprints taken in order to maintain our finalization date for the 26th of August, because it would appear that your fingerprints change over a six-month period so it’s not like they could simply keep a record of our file and rerun any background searches that needed to be performed… no, that would be logical and consistent and would make the adoption process entirely too easy.
Nevertheless, we did finally get a date before the judge and that date was set for August 26th. We arranged to have a photographer meet us at the courthouse to take pictures during (hopefully) and after the process. When we arrived at the courthouse the attorney requested permission for our photographer to be able to take photos during the process and the judge was willing to let her do so. While waiting, our attorney whispered to us that it was highly unusual for this judge to allow photographers into the courtroom. After a brief wait we were finally allowed in to see the judge. The entire process itself was actually very simple as we did not even have to sign any documents as all of that had taken place prior to our submitting the petition. The only reason we were there that day was to witness the judge put her signature on the adoption order. After the judge had placed her signature in the four or five places she needed to sign she looked at the kids and asked “Would you guys like some cookies or cupcakes?” My children being who they are all responded with an enthusiastic yes. It ended up being a very special time as the judge had her clerk step out and grab a large cookie and several cupcakes for my family. She then sat down with us at the table and partook of the sweets brought in by her clerk. As we left to court the attorney gave us a somewhat stunned look and said, “I have never even heard of that judge doing anything like that for an adoptive family before.
And so it was, that one day before I turned 31 we officially became a family of five. It is on that note that I proudly introduce Nicolas James Orinel Filippo. Photos of our adoption can be found at the link below:
That information in and of itself would be more than enough to fill an entire newsletter but that is not the extent of all that I have to share in this post. While the finalization was an exciting time, from our perspective Nicolas has already been a part of our family for over seven months, which is what makes the next piece of news all the more exciting and overwhelming all at once. As of March 11th, 2017 we will officially become a family of six. Leslie is pregnant with little boy number three. And so it is that a man who was to be content with two children will now find himself a father of four in a little under three and a half years. Yikes! On the plus side I am two thirds of the way to being able to form my own baseball team.
The prospect of having four children is concerning on a number of levels, one of which being that we are no longer going to be able to go out and have dinner with anyone who is married, much less has children. Seating a table of seven is doable… seating a table of 13, not so much. In addition, Leslie and I will not just be outnumbered anymore, now we are going to be outnumbered two to one; and if that doesn’t terrify you just remember that three of those children will be boys and I am the guy who still enjoys playing with fire and has a recently used potato gun in his garage. If it means anything, whenever my daughter spots a squirrel outside the window she immediately turns to me and says, “There’s a squirrel daddy, shoot it.” Truthfully, my heart kind of swells with pride every time she says it, she may talk like a New Yorker but she has the heart of a country girl. Of course, much of this is mitigated by the fact that Jack seems to be terrified of any number of everyday harmless items, things like breadcrumbs and leaves.
The other night we were at the dinner table and Jack was complaining about a crumb on his plate, as best as I can tell he thought it looked like a bug. Leslie told him it was fine and to just pick it up and eat it, as he reached his hand for it I shouted, “Look out, it might bite!” It took most of the rest of the evening to console the poor kid and there was nothing I could say or do to convince him to get anywhere near that breadcrumb again. I think I’ve pretty much got “Father of the Year” locked down this year.
With this in mind it probably should not have been any surprise that when I took the boys hiking a couple of months ago that Jack was terrified of any leaves that encroached upon the trail we were hiking. Enough so that at one point I had to pick him up and carry him on my shoulders to make any progress forward. Oh yes, I think I’ve got this fatherhood thing all figured out.
For those of you interested, I have continued to be given opportunities to preach and all of my sermon audio going back to November of last year can be found at the link below: