This entry is going to be long...as it should be! It is going to attempt to cover the last 2 or so years of our lives! In those 2 years, we added a child, sweet Knox, to our family and we went from having a 2 and a half year old and a 10 month old to having two 3 year olds and a 5 year old! Whew...what a ride it has been...
Here it goes.
It was a day in January. Honestly, I don't know which day it was. I really dont. If I am totally honest, I didn't pay attention to the date because I didn't think I would need to know it. Didn't think I would be writing a blog about my son and wishing I knew the date I first laid eyes on him. I know it was after the 18th of January because thats the last time I blogged! Life really turned upside down from that post on...
I thought this was temporary...that this precious boy was merely passing through our lives "for a few short months" (according to the social worker)for us to love on, pray for and engage for the short time we "had him". Even as I write that, right this minute sitting in my dirty kitchen while he is asleep in the other room, my heart sinks. There is a heaviness to that day for me. I just didn't know. There is part of me that wants to say, in this chirpy voice that this day was one of the brightest, most beautiful days ever...well, thats just not how it was. IT was hard. It was the day we entered in to the pain of one very small, precious little boy. Sure, of course, no doubt it is a BEAUTIFUL story of Gods mercy and His desire to bring justice to that sweet little boy! Lemme tell ya there is nothing that can bring tears streaming down my face faster then when I really sit and think of the fact that God allowed me to be his Mom! He trusted me and Brian and Matthew and Anna Faith with this precious, fragile life. WHAT?! He could've done this without us. He could've saved you without us, but He allowed us in. For that, I am eternally grateful. Because he allowed me in, I get to call you SON! Be still my heart...I am honored!
Knox, I am writing this for you sweet boy. In the hopes that one day, you will read this and know how I love you and how The Lord fought for you. I am writing this so you know your story...and how it began and how Jesus came in a BIG ole fat beautiful way and interrupted your life to give you a re-set. A new destiny. A new name. One that He knew all along. I am writing this, not to make you grieve your story...although you likely will have to. I am writing this so you know THE WHOLE story of His intense love for you.
So this is the face, and the first pictures we have of this sweet little boy...
Those pictures are sweet in many ways. I look into those eyes. The eyes of a boy named Dalton Manning Cannon. Eyes that, to me, dont look anything like the full, bright eyes of my son, Knox Manning Garrison. But that comes later...for now, I love the photo of the 3 of them because thats how it has been since day 1! Matthew and Anna Faith loved that little boy from day 1. He became one of them...one of the gang, literally, overnight!
Not long after we got Knox, he was ready to celebrate his 1st birthday. You see, we were what CPS calls a "safety plan" for Knox's biological parents. When CPS intervened, Knox's bio parents were suppose to be working their steps towards what the state of Texas calls "reunification". Well, they are young. And they struggled to do what they needed to do...for lots of reasons. Because of those struggles, Knox (at the time his name was Dalton) had been placed in a few different places from the time he was 3 months old. We were his 4th home in 11 months, and we were told we would take care of him until his bio parents achieved reunification or until their rights were terminated and he was placed for adoption. There is a much more detailed and broken story to all this, but those are Knox's details to share with the world. Suffice it to say, he was born in to a rough spot. So...we celebrated his 1st year of life on March 7, 2010. His bio parents came and a few of our close friends. He was loved on and got to eat cake...
I am so thankful I have those pics of his 1st birthday. I am so glad I got to celebrate his life, although, at the time, we did not even really know him that well. In retrospect, I am so thankful!
To make what could be a very long story, shorter...from the time we got Knox, we knew there was a bit of an uphill battle. He was delayed developmentally - which is what you would expect for a child with his story. He wasnt touched enough or cuddled enough in those first months. He was put on WAY too many meds that masked many underlying issues..and it affected everything. He started throwing up and having GI problems very early on. He was a sick little boy. We were in the ER those first 6 months maybe 5 or 6 times with breathing issues, and RSV a handful of times. It was rough and we were tired. He was hard. He was not ever happy. He never felt good. He was losing weight! NOT GOOD for a baby! He stopped eating and eventually stopped drinking. We didn't know how to help him. Remember, we had 2 other babies at this point who we longed to love on and get time with as well. But, we were engaged in a fight. A fight for him. A fight to get to the bottom of what was causing so many issues for him. He had never had anyone fight for him...and so we had to fight. Anyone would have done the same, when a child is suffering you engage it. You have to! So, we did. Over the next 2 years, we saw:
GI Specialist (x2)
Natural Medecine Docs (x2)
Family Practice Docs
ER docs (countless)
Hospitalists (5 or 6 at both Methodist and Baptist)
Infectious Disease Doc
Pediatric Ear Nose and Throat
When it all flushed out, our boy was diagnosed "failure to thrive", with severe food allergies and severe asthma.
Not good. Not fun. Does NOT define him. Not the end of his story!
Several months after we had gotten custody of Knox, his bio parents sat us down and explained that they understood from the judge that there is very little chance they would be getting him back. They told us they were so grateful for all we had done to take care of him and love him. They asked us if we would adopt him. We prayed, and fasted and prayed some more...and the answer was clearly, YES! And so, the adoption process started and we continued to try and get this boy well! There were really hard days when he was really really sick. I wasn't sure if he would live. I sat by his bed many nights at Children's Methodist Hospital and prayed and prayed for this sweet boy. My heart began to bond to him as more than "a child" I was fighting for. My heart began to fight for him as my son. There was a shift in that hospital room. It wasn't easy. I had some major, come to Jesus conversations with Jesus himself...it was needed and it was clear God was on the move. I was beyond tired. So beyond sad. But The Lord began to graft him in as my son. How sweet it was to be experiencing that miracle of adoption again...
Thats all I got in me for today! Stay tuned...getting closer to being all caught up!