"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Long before I knew anything about attachment disorder, juvenile court, DFCS or strong sitting. Before I had ever dropped off a child for a visit or had a shoe thrown at my head, or been called "A BIG BUMMER!!!!!!" (or worst)...I had wanted to adopt. I've heard it called the adoption gene. Some people are just born with the desire to adopt regardless of their ability to have biologic kids. I have that gene...Jim does not. That is what makes this story so sweet.
I remember bringing up adoption/fostering while Jim and I were dating *note to single girls: DON'T DO THAT!* He would brush it off. I would bring it up occasionally when we were married, before we had kids, and he would reply something like "lets talk about it when our kids are older and can help decide." I would think "no way am I going to raise all these kids and then start all over again!" We had agreed that we wanted a big family. Back then big was 5 (me) or 6 (Jim). Now that doesn't seem so big! I ended up stuffing the idea with all my other crazy ideas like being missionaries in a foreign country, or doing professional photography, or ever fitting in a size 4.
The years went by and I don't think it ever crossed my mind. In 2008 we had 3 children, each 18 months apart. Caleb was getting ready to turn 4, Emma was 2 and Luke was not even a year old...and I was STRESSED!!! I was not handling 3 young children, a husband that worked a lot and most of my family being 8 hours away. Some days it seemed I was barely hanging on when Jim walked though the door.
At that same time I couldn't get adoption out of my head. I would turn on the radio and hear Steven Curtis Chapman's testimony of his daughters, I got Focus on the Families magazine and it happened to be adoption month, it was constant. So I did what every good wife does, I started leaving hints for Jim (in the form of an open orphan magazine on the floor in front of the toilet). And he did what every sane husband does, try to brush it off in a way that wouldn't bring out the fight in me (an art he has perfected).
One night, after a hard day with the kids, I was in the kitchen and Jim was putting the kids to bed. While I was washing dishes I had an overwhelming need to start praying for "a child or children that would one day be in our house." I put it in quotes because that is EXACTLY how it came to my mind. I have thought about it many times in the last 2 years. Playing it over and over in my mind "now was it stay in our house forever?" No, it was be in our house...where were the details God???? So I did, I prayed for that child or those children. I prayed that they would be protected, that God would get us ready for them. I prayed until I was sobbing at the kitchen sink. Then in came Jim..."what's wrong?!"
Me:"Um I'm praying for kids that are going to be in our house one day and they are in trouble right now."
Jim: "Oooookaaayyy...do you think you are pregnant?"
That was probably around August or September of 08 (I really wished I had journaled this). At that same time, in our same county, there were 2 little girls who's world (whatever that might have looked like) was about to get rocked!!!