For weeks, I wondered what on earth God was up to! It was August… we had just found out a few weeks prior that we were expecting our second child, I was starting a new job, and our 14 month old was quite the handful, when we received an unexpected phone call. It was from our foster care caseworker. She informed us that she had the perfect placement for us. Austin and I have always felt called to adopt, and we have always joked that we wanted to adopt twins. Our caseworker informed us that she had just received a referral for a respite placement for twins. We felt at peace about a short-term placement, so we accepted and made arrangements to pick them up in a few hours. We packed up and met the caseworker halfway between Arlington and Cleveland in a gas station parking lot. The first time I laid eyes on our sweet twins, they were scared, hunched over 2 year olds clutching a bag of chips, walking across the gas station parking lot toward us. (No, this is not an exaggeration; this is the flawed system, people!) And so, our journey began…
The first nights we had the twins, it felt like we did everything wrong. We were first time parents trying to navigate the toddler stage while our 1 year old ran circles around us fascinated by her new house guests.
After just a few days, we received another phone call asking if we were interested in keeping the twins long term as they were unable to go back to their previous placement. After much prayer, we decided we would keep them. But, I was totally unprepared for the fire Satan would begin to throw our way. It seemed every line of support was quickly followed by harsh criticism and doubt. Some of the closest people in my life were quick to tell me hurtful things like “you can’t handle four kids, Selah is going to be negatively affected by this choice, you don’t know the history of the biological family, what if the twins are removed from your care after you’re attached…” The list of negative statements went on and on until I thought I would break from the pressure.
The agency informed us that the children were up for adoption and we had the first choice of whether we would like to adopt them. We said we needed time to decide. I was a basket case. I worry a lot about what people think and the negative comments were really getting to me, especially since they were coming from people so close to me. I was not taking the matter to God, I was letting my emotions, anxiety, and inadequacies take over. In church the following Sunday, I finally surrendered and asked God to reveal His plan to me. Immediately, our Pastor began a sermon about the influence we have on our children. He referred to Proverbs 22:6- “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Such a simple verse, yet it hit me like a ton of bricks. I don’t remember everything else that was said in the sermon, but I do remember knowing when I left that God’s plan was for us to adopt the twins and be the ones to teach them about Jesus. If we don’t, who will?
It has not been easy. We still are dealing with a flawed system, we still hear negative comments, but we have learned so much in the process. God has given us such a wonderful support system and we have been in awe at His faithfulness. This blog will touch upon all of the lessons we’ve learned, the journey God is taking us on, and all of the craziness of life in between. It will share our story. An open, honest dialogue of the beautiful work that God is doing in our family. I look forward to sharing with you!