Adoption Story

Rule #3: Where there’s a Willard, there’s a way.


The first weekend being parents for Chris and me was chaotic, exciting, loving, and exhausting. Even though we now had a minivan, beds, clothes and food for the girls, we still had to put the rest of the house in order. But as Chris always said growing up, “Where there’s a Willard, there’s a way!”

I had my doubts. Yes, we had a huge community of support and love that was behind us one-hundred percent. And yes, dozens of people had stopped by to help baby-proof the house, setup bunk beds and the crib, and organize items. But now we were no longer talking about becoming a family. We were living as a family. BW was home and getting to know us. And she would need to help us get things ready for the arrival of her two sisters on Monday.

Getting to know our daughter.

After arriving home with BW on Friday, we decided to spend the day playing with her. We did nothing else while she was awake. We played and laughed and told stories. The afternoon was spent looking at pictures of her new family, getting to know one another, and playing with her new best friend, Tucson.

Tucson had been our dog for six years before the girls came home. He was a ten pound Maltipoo that was full of life and love. Tucson was one of the chillest dogs I had ever known. And BW instantly fell in love with him.

Once it was time for bed, we implemented our new bedtime routine. Chris was hoping to skip tv time before bed and go directly from playing to getting pajamas on to brushing teeth to reading stories to going to sleep. As you can imagine, the no tv thing before bed didn’t last for very long…

But we did it in the beginning. And once BW went to sleep, Chris and I went right back to preparing the house. This would be a routine every night for the next two weeks.

How much time does it really take to prepare a house for three kids?

On Saturday, Chris, BW and I went to a large store in town to buy a few more items we needed. Our friends and family had been generous with giving us gift cards, but we now needed items. We purchased all the items we knew we would need for the next week and bought a few more bedroom furnishings for the girls.

Once we were back at the house, BW assisted in assembling furniture. This was the first time we noticed her engineering mind. We instantly recognized that BW wants to know how things work, each step that is involved in creating something, and how doing Step A allows you to go to Step B. We continue to see this thought process to this day.

But that first weekend, BW used this inquiry to help Chris put together bookshelves and storage units. She organized items in the bedrooms and playroom. And she let us know what toys her two sisters would like.

I was extremely hopeful that this whole zero to three kids overnight thing would go well and that BW would be excited to see her sisters. Perhaps the hopefulness was due to delirium or exhaustion. As hopeful as I was, I was not prepared for what was yet to come.


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