(this is what our family looked like 12/08)
This post is directly from a journal I tried to keep for the girls:
"God will never lead you where His strength will not keep you."
After a whirlwind of court deprivations, lawyers and home studies Granddaddy and Grammy had legal custody of you guys and our paths began to cross. I can still remember the first time I saw you both. It was Wednesday night, I was in a rush trying to get Caleb and Emma to choir, you guys were eating in the dinning hall. Audrey, I still remember your chubby little cheeks and your hair pulled straight up on your head (what Daddy would affectionatley call Q-tip).
We did not know Grammy and Granddaddy. Granddaddy worked in our church but we had never even had a conversation with him. Grammy was a mentor in the MOPS group I went to. The day after I first saw you guys I happened to get behind her in the line to get food and we began talking. She started to tell me about you guys and how God had moved mountains to bring you girls to their family. She talked about adopting you as soon as they were able. I remember joking with her about how Jim would never want to do that but that I had always thought about adoption or fostering. I was thinking in my head how ironic this conversation was considering all the thoughts I had had a month back. I asked her to keep me up to date, she agreed and we parted ways.
The last week in November, Grammy got in front of our MOPS group and tearfully said she knew that she would only have you girls for a season. I was confused. From what I knew about your Mother I knew you couldn't be going back to live with her yet. I found Grammy and pulled her behind a big divider and asked her what happened. She explained that she had some medical issues and that her doctors told her she would not be able to keep caring for you girls. She was crushed! I asked if she had thought about being a Grandma and continuing the relationship. She looked shocked, I thought for sure I had offended her (it was only the 2nd time I had ever spoke to her and I was calling her a Grandma-nice!). Later she would tell me that after she got over the shock of being called a Grandma, that the thought of it gave her great comfort.
As she was talking I felt the room begin to spin. I had already started wrestling with God. A wrestling match that would continue on for years and in fact is still going on now. I could hear her talking but in my head I was thinking "There is NO WAY I can do this God! Have you seen me trying to take care of my 3?! I am stressed with what I have, Jim works long hours and that would be 5 kids under the age of 5!!! AND we have been talking about having another!!! Why do I want so badly to do this?! What about Caleb, Emma and Luke? GOD are you listening to me?!"
I finished talking to Grammy and made a tearful beeline for the youth bathroom. Right there in the third stall on the cement floor (YUCK!) I dropped to my knees and said "God I have no idea how we would do this but if this is Your will for us I submit (took a while for this strong willed girl to swallow that word but I had recently learned to embrace it)!" When I came out the door I saw one of my good friends. She had wanted more children herself, she was also in tears praying for you, wandering if you were the answer to her prayers. Months later while walking through church I had a few couples come up to me and tell me the same thing. You were not unwanted sweet girls. You were cried for, prayed over and loved by many.
I had a hard time concentrating for the rest of our meeting. When it was over I ran as fast as you can with a double stroller, 3 kids, art projects and 4 bags to the van to call Jim at work and tell him the exciting news!
When I first called him he was about to give a presentation. Being the wise, sensitive wife I am I waited until he was done. When he called me back I said "just listen and promise me you will pray about it." I remember thinking I do NOT want to talk him into this. I'm not even sure I want to do this! He didn't seem overly shocked and promised to pray about it. I knew my sensible husband and thought if we make it to the end of the day and this is still on the table THAT will be a miracle!
at the time I had signed like this: