I was so focused on the wedding details, I completely forgot to write a toast for our new son-in-law and promised myself that I would put these feelings into words for him just as soon as the wedding was over.

As I was writing this, we had quite a scare with Jacob’s health, and I had to put this on the back burner. If I had continued to write while he was in such a critical spot, my sappiness would have surely been confused with fear. Jacob and his brand new bride would have been sure that I thought he was going to die, which I would not let myself even consider. Now that he is healthy and home from the hospital, I think it is safe to get back to the job of welcoming him to the family the way that only I know how to…with a blog post.

IMG_4687I don’t know when it happened, I can’t remember when exactly I let this boy in my heart. I remember looking on as he was having his wedding pictures taken, and thinking Yup, that’s MY kiddo. I was certain that I could not pinpoint when it happened, but I expect that he worked his way in a little at a time.

For example, you have to appreciate the moxie of anyone who has the courage to date the “baby sister” of four VERY imposing big brothers, one of whom has become her even-more-imposing Dad. It definitely was happening as I watched his calming presence settle over my daughter in her panics and the way he stooped to hold his son’s hand in my back yard. It probably happened a little when he called me and asked to come over and talk with us without Heather. Even though we knew he was ready to let her know he wanted forever, he heard and addressed our concerns that they be able to stand on their own feet as a family. Brick by brick, his complements of my cooking, his willingness to hang out on Holidays, and his great big heart opened the walls I keep around my family and rebuilt that wall from the inside where he is supposed to be.

IMG_4677I don’t know when or how this kid, worked his way in, but he is firmly planted there. Just as it was when we took Heather into our hearts, it is as if he has always been there, always supposed to have been here. He is a loving father to our Grandson, a protector of my daughter, and a solid provider to his family. This kiddo is the kind of love I always hoped she would find, and more importantly became the MAN her Daddy always wanted her husband to be.

Welcome to our family, Jacob!!!!!

Like the Hotel California, “you can check out, but you can never leave.” Muhahahahaha!