Over the past six weeks I've introduced you to five of the six kids my parents adopted. First Thor joined our family, followed by Malibu Barbie and Hello Kitty. Next came Gisele and Diva and now finally Loki.
According to Norse mythology, Loki was a sort of an assistant to the gods. Mostly he just caused trouble and then things went really bad, and there is some stuff about his son's entrails...Yeah, almost makes me rethink using Loki as his bloggy name. Almost. He really does find trouble with ease, though, so we are going to ingore the entrail stuff and stick with the troublemaker label.
Even though he didn't come to live with us when they did, Loki is Gisele's and Diva's full-blooded biological brother. He was passed from relative to relative, and, for whatever reason, was never sent to foster homes with any of his sisters (there are two others). He was kept in the loop enough to know that they had all found families. In the meantime, he got passed around so much that I'm fairly certain at one point, social services didn't even know where he was. A lost boy. Not the happy kind with marbles either. He was an angry, confused, lost boy.
I remember quite clearly as Gisele and Diva were settling into family life at our house that they worried about their brother. Asking us to pray for him. So everyone did. We prayed for the lost boy we didn't know.
Then social services asked if my parents would take him in since two of his sisters were already a part of our family. So he came to live with my parents. His adjustment period has been the most difficult as far as I can tell. Not because he's a lost cause but there is so much damage done. He had never lived with a family that wanted or loved him before my parents. He had never experienced stability, and I'm fairly certain that even though he's already been adopted, he fears that this family will leave him too. It's all he's ever known. The leaving. That being said, he is adjusting. It's slow; changing a mindset twelve years developed takes time.
I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with how an adoption works. I doubt it's what you'd expect. It goes something like this: The judge flips through the paperwork the adoptive parents have poured their blood, sweat and tears into and says, "Do you recognize the signature affixed to this document as your own?" Then a lawyer flips through the paperwork, identifies the paper the judge is talking about and shows it to the adoptive parents, and they say, "Yes, we do." The judge then announces that he too is signing the paper and he does. They repeat this process like ten bazillion times while the child looks on.
This was the fourth time I had attended an adoption proceeding. I had seen the child for which we prayed for sixteen years be adopted, the little girls find a home, the "unadoptable" older girls find a home. After all of that, I have to say that, for me, this was by far the most emotional adoption.
After all the flipping through paperwork, at the very end of each adoption proceeding, the judge signs the final document, announces the child's new name and then congratulates the child on becoming a part of a family.
I would swear to you that when the judge looked at Loki as he signed that last peice of paperwork he had a moment. A moment where he realized the he would never again see this boy in his courtroom.
I'm sorry if that doesn't make sense. Try putting yourself in the shoes of a family court judge. He sees so many 13-15 year old boys come through his court as PINS kids and juvenile delinquents. This was no doubt a path that Loki could have very easily fallen to, but he didn't. Instead, Loki found a family. A family that this particular judge had seen in his courtroom before as he had added child after child to it and now he had the privilege of changing this young man's life in a positive way with the scribble of a pen.