Big Changes

To say our experience as first time foster parents was extremely difficult is an understatement. From the beginning it was hard--parenting two 5 week olds (adjusted age-twins were preemie) is a challenge on it's own but adding in 2-3 appointments weekly, team meetings, court, visits with mom. It was overwhelming. People would often ask us if we would be keeping the twins. It was a legitimate question as we were only planning to foster/adopt for now. We'd explain that we are not- we are "just" fostering.

So why the twins? From the beginning we had no idea. When we received the call about them we had a huge resounding NO but God tugged at our hearts and we called back and said yes. The fact two babies were still available after we drug our feet in and of itself was pretty amazing. So that began our journey as foster parents. Throughout the months we had them we could never articulate exactly why we had said yes. Why change our lives in such an abrupt way knowing they will go home? There, of course, are big reasons like the fact that loving on God's children is a good thing. We were giving a sense of stability and love while mom was rebuilding her life. We like to believe that this time we invested will never be in vain. It did make a difference. 

In the back of my mind I still wondered where this was leading us. Were we missing out on other opportunities? I couldn't help but plan out when they left and what our next steps were. We dealt with a particularly difficult bio mom--more difficult than many our specialist had seen. Because of this we felt frayed and tempted to leave the foster care world.

Then, the day after Thanksgiving my phone rang. It was the case manager and I was bracing for whatever unbelievable critique bio mom and conjured up now. Instead she was inquiring about our desires for building our family. "Are you looking only for a baby?" I informed her that we want to honor birth order (Decs is 5). "Are you open to sib sets?" she asked. I said we are. She proceeded to tell me about two brothers, ages 1 and 2,  that are going to be placed for adoption. She had felt like they were "meant to be" with us. Come to find out, this case worker was a little confused why she had the twin's case as well. It was transferred mid-foster process which is odd and she had wondered the entire time about it. She truly believes she got the case so she could meet us. God works in such mysterious ways!

We learned more about the boys, prayed and talked about it and said YES! We ended up having them that weekend for respite (and having the twins….4 extra kids 2 and under in diapers…yep). Basically we had series of mental breakdowns all weekend because it was so much. We shipped the twinks off to respite desperately halfway through the weekend and tried to just focus on the boys. We were exhausted. Not only did they get up at 5/5:30 (compared to our 8am routine), but we had forgotten the constant attention toddlers need. So as they left that Sunday we didn't talk about whether we would move forward. We were deers in headlights. Monday we also avoided the subject but I knew the call was coming. Tuesday, the case manager called and asked if we wanted to move forward. We literally sat down and made a pros/cons list. I don't want that to sound cold. This is a MAJOR life change for us. Ultimately, we could see ourselves falling in love with these sweet boys. Declan would finally be a big brother and the glimpses of him with the boys that weekend was amazing. While we were mulling over this decision I had to run to an appointment. I got in the car and Chris Tomlin's "Whom Shall I Fear" came on the radio:

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side.

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side.

My strength is in Your name
For You alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory

This entire process…years of waiting…failed matches…difficult fostering…God went before us and prepared the way for these boys to join our family. If I truly believed that (I do!!) why would I be fearful He won't stand behind us? Our fears were legitimate but God's grace and strength and guidance is much bigger than those fears. So, here we are, we become a family of 5 tonight when two little men step through our doors and we begin the process of picking up the pieces and healing their hearts and showing them consistency and love that will never leave. There is so much to their story I choose not to share but will you pray for us? We are humbled and blessed by this opportunity and can't believe this is our story. How many times have I typed out "I can't wait to see what God has in store"? Well, this is a doozy.


happymomof2 said...

OH WOW!!!!! That is awesome, amazing and I'm sure a little daunting. I will be thinking about you all and praying for all 5 of you! You all are truly blessed, so happy for you all!

erin said...

congrats to all of you! While overwhelming, this is exactly what you have prayed for. May God be with you during the challenges that surely will arise, but know that you can handle! Amazing!

Sherri Eggleston said...

Your story leaves me in tears...tears of joy, happiness and such great hope! God is working thru you and your husband. You all have an amazing story. I am praying for you all and I know you have such an amazing future ahead of you for your family!!! - Sherri E

MtnGirl said...

That is a story that brings tears to my eyes! God will guide you as you journey along! God bless you and the boys!

Rebekah said...

What a crazy whirlwind! I will be praying. I know how difficult it is to bring home one two year old boy that has lived a whole life without you, let alone a set of boys. God bless you guys as you trust God through each step. From our experience, the first six months were tough, but big-time breakthrough came afterward. I love watching God build your family. It's beautiful and magnificent!

Rebecca said...

I'm so excited and so nervous for you!! But you're right, God goes before you and stands behind you. You do this HUGE thing by his power alone and for his glory. I'll be walking right next to you and praying along the way!

Julie said...

Amazing! Love reading a great God story. He started a great thing and will help you through all the challenges that are ahead with 2 new toddlers! Congrats!

Stacy A said...

I got a little weepy reading this. I love what G-D's doing in & through you and your family. Thrilled for you!

Hannah said...

So exciting. So amazing. Wow - I love watching the pieces come together for your family. Decs is going to be an awesome big brother. Can wait to meet the two little guys! x

Brandi Hollenbeck said...

Congratulations on the additions to your family! I can't wait to watch your story unfold!

Maya's Musings said...

Wow, just wow! How amazing is our God! I have been following your story and have wondered what God had in store for your wonderful family. I will be praying for you in the coming days and months. God bless!

raisingmiles said...

Holy Moly! That's amazing changes. I can't wait to see what your 2014 looks like! Congratulations on your 3 sons! :O)

Kristen said...

Congratulations! As a fellow adoptive mom I know the panic, excitement and overwhelming love that is again heading your way. All the best

Renae said...

I had chills reading this post! Praying that the past week has went well and continuing to pray as you transition and love on these little ones! Congratulations!