85 N. Main St., Norwood, NY 13668
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Blog“Just Over the Hilltop”

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Hello to my family and friends from just over the hilltop in Norwood. Today is our daughter Kate’s birthday, an angel sent to me during a difficult time in my life. She has no idea how often God used her innocent child-like faith to encourage me throughout the years. She had apnea, which results in crib death, but God allowed me to find her not breathing before SIDS took her. She was only three weeks old.

With the help of a machine that let us know when she had stopped breathing, the support of family and friends, the watch-care of our local fire and rescue department, and the amazing doctors in Boston, we got her through her first year of life alive. It was a year full of fear, doubt, and stress, but “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” and we did it! For me, it was also God enabling and strengthening me to keep going for Kate had three older siblings and yes, I was very exhausted. But it was worth it all. Happy Birthday to my angel, Kate.

Adoption of the Heart

Dick and I went down to Kate’s and Chad’s for a very special and most beautiful celebration in their life Sunday. As many of you might remember, Kate married Chad almost six years ago and along with Chad she welcomed a nine-year-old stepdaughter, Cheyenne. Kate immediately received and cared for her as her own. Over the years as Cheyenne has matured into a young lady, turning sixteen next week, her and Kate’s relationship has bonded in such a way, that Cheyenne wanted Kate to adopt her, though legally that would not be possible as Cheyenne’s mother is still somewhat involved in her life. Cheyenne originally wanted to surprise Kate with the adoption on Kate’s birthday and told her dad about her plans last fall. Well, Chad didn’t realize it was supposed to be a secret and shared Cheyenne’s desire with Kate.

That turned out to be a good move because now they could seek council and advice on how to proceed with this mutual agreement of both parties, though it had always been there from Kate. This decision took them on a journey that culminated Sunday in a service and celebration of “joint adoption” with their pastor overseeing a marvelous illustration and teaching of blended and broken families throughout the scriptures. Even Jesus himself had a stepfather who had embraced him as his own, raising and training Him to adulthood.

Even Jesus had a stepfather who had embraced him as his own, raising and training Him to adulthood

Kate and Cheyenne exchanged vows of commitment to one another, exchanged matching necklaces as a symbol of this commitment. And then signed a certificate of mutual adoption in front of the one hundred guests (family, friends, and church members) who witnessed this momentous occasion. The pastor then gave them a charge and prayed for them as they continue on into the coming years as mother/daughter. An interesting note to this special day was that their pastor had been adopted as a teenager, about one third of the guests attending had either been adopted, adopted someone, or was a stepparent who had “adopted” children into their hearts. This included Dick who had adopted my six children into his heart with a commitment to them as his very own. This was solid no matter what the future held or what they might think of him.  How blessed we’ve been and there were few dry eyes when the service came to an end.

Food to celebrate

Then there was food! Cheyenne had baked almost 175 cupcakes for this occasion and Kate frosted them. Their church family helped by providing delicious food as well as clean up afterward.  Cheyenne was told if she wanted this big a party, she would need to be the hostess and make everyone feel welcome. Boy, did she ever! She was an excellent hostess and after we returned to their home, she informed us that she never did get to eat. We all laughed and welcomed her to the business of hosting parties. Great job, Cheyenne, and welcome once again to the family.

Another amazing part of this special day was that ten of Cheyenne’s twelve cousins were able to attend with three sets of her aunts and uncles from Kate’s side of the family as well as Grandpa and me. And one more thing: On this date, April 2, nineteen years ago, our oldest grandchildren Maygan and Mary were adopted by our oldest son Eliot and his wife Lori. How super special is that!

Well, I should sign off now for this week wishing you a blessed month of April. Ours started off gloriously. Love, Sharon