When They Said You Could Keep Me


It was an ordinary evening.

We were walking to a theater in our town to see a play that a homeschool group in our community was putting on. Our town has a sweet downtown area so we parked and walked a few blocks.

Our town dons a pretty grand and historic courthouse and we walked right up next to it on our adventure. We skipped the steps, walked around on the concrete, and we were enjoying our time when our youngest asked what the big building was again.

My husband answered, “Eli, you know what this building is, it is the courthouse.”

We have been to this courthouse on several occasions.


Our older kids had been here before, for speeding infractions and then driving school for said infractions. We had been here for a Christmas program, a recycling program where our son won an award for an ornament he made out of recycled materials, and, most importantly, for our youngest son’s adoption.

Our son had been born in Indiana and we had participated in an interstate adoption, so we finalized our adoption in our home county and in this very courthouse.

At your final adoption hearing, the child you are adopting becomes an official part of your family, legally that is, and they take your last name. A new birth certificate is given and the child becomes “officially” yours. Another blog post for another time, but this mom will tell you from the moment they put your child in your arms, they are most definitely already yours, but I digress.

As we continued to walk toward the theater, Eli chimed up and answered his Dad.

“Oh, that’s right. This is the place we went and they told you that you could keep me!” exclaimed Eli.

And off he went scaling the steps by the courthouse making his way to the crosswalk.

I guess he’s been listening.

Yes, my sweet son, that is exactly where a judge said that we could keep you. The judge looked at us and said he is your son and now has your last name.

One of the best days ever; the day in that big building when they said we could keep you.

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Cheryl Brackemyre
Hey local mommas! I grew up in Centerville, but I now live in Wilmington with my husband Tony. Together we have 6 kids, Joe, and his wife Allison, Austin, and his wife Hannah, Sydney and her husband Hayden, Andrew and his wife Lauren and our littles, Max and Eli. Did I mention we are a little nuts starting over with this parenting thing when we are 45+? We are officially adding new titles to our names in 2022- Tiki and Jeep (our version of Grandma and Grandpa). My husband and I are both ministers, and we get to work together in a local church. We were both married before and brought our families together in 2010. After a few years of marriage we felt God's leading for us to adopt. We added Max to our family in 2014 and Eli joined us in 2017, our quiver is officially full! Blending our family has been an adventure! Add some ex-spouses and two birth mommas and we have ourselves a crazy crew! Coffee is my love language. The beach is my happy place and I long to have my toes in the sand.


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