Picture taken 12-20-08. Caleb's 4th bday party
the day God met me at McDonald's
If you want to catch up on the adoption story check it out here.
It was the beginning of Dec 08 and over the next few days Jim and I talked ad nauseum about the girls moving in with us. How would we do it logistically? Where would they sleep? Could we actually parent that many children at once and meet every one's needs? Should we put our family plans on hold? (Take measures to make sure we didn't become pregnant during this time, even though we had always felt God would determine how large our family became.)
Our biggest concern, the one we came back to over and over was, what effect would it have on our biological children. This may seem harsh from the outside but it is reality! Remember we had not even met G & A yet...they were not our children, our obligation was to protect and love the children God had given us first and not to run into a situation without thinking and praying over it. This is a question that our closest friends and our family asked a lot as we got into this process and honestly it didn't bother me a bit. How could it?! It was our most concerning question too. The question came from a deep love for our children and I appreciated their openness with us!
Jim, naturally was very concerned about our bio children. How would they feel about it? Would they resent us later? What would we be exposing them to? I was on the other end. I could see only the good. The gift of siblings. The routine it would provide to hurting children. And the chance to live out what we say we believe. Jim and I never argued about this at all (amazing if you knew our history). We just spoke our hearts and every time we spoke about it we agreed to spend time praying about it and let God reveal His plan over time...instead of rushing into it (as I am prone to doing).
We spent the next few weeks praying over it all. I wrestled with God as I almost always do. The situation consumed my every thought. I felt the need to plan every detail of our lives at that moment. It was exhausting! I finally came to the point I couldn't think about it anymore. Every time it popped into my mind I lifted it in a prayer to God. I fasted from sweets and prayed God would change one of our hearts to whatever He was calling us to.
During that time I met the girls at MOPS. It was as if I met one of your children. No band of angels came down singing "HALLELUJAH" like I expected. I felt nothing. Later that week I ran into Gianna on the preschool hall and she ran right up to me, hugged me and showed me her art work. I remember being surprised at how comfortable she was with a stranger (much later I would find out that this was all part of her attachment issues). Still no fireworks on my end. Yet God was speaking to me (not in a weird, auditory "I AM GOD' kind of way). But I would read verses, verses I had read many times, that all of the sudden seemed to jump off the page into my lap. Verses that continued to encourage me to keep pursuing the girls.
I also sent an email to our Sunday School class, asking them to pray for 2 girls that needed a home. I did not want to send this email!!! I did not want anyone else to raise these girls! This was the first of many many times I would have to do something I did not want to do...I think God was training me gently. He's good like that.
There was one thing that happened that encouraged me drastically and scared me to death! It was Dec 20th and we were getting ready for Caleb's 4th birthday party that afternoon. Caleb had been invited to another birthday party for lunch and I was still debating whether or not it was a good idea to go. I finally decided I would take him. It was at a McDonald's in Grayson. I had never been there before. As we pulled up. Grammy and her daughter were walking out holding G. I was shocked to see them. She was shocked to see me! She told me she had just dropped Audrey off for a visit in McDonald's. That G was having an obvious allergic reaction and couldn't stay but that the girls bio mom and both of their brothers were inside McDonald's! I was full of butterflies at what I was going to see inside. I was still fasting and had spent that very morning praying at length for the girls.
I tried very hard to concentrate on the birthday girl. But my head was spinning. I was also trying very hard not to stare. But it was SO hard! The girls mother is very pretty. She seemed friendly. She sat at a table the entire time I was there and spoke to another woman (I later found out that this was the supervisor). The boys played on the playground and Audrey just sat at her highchair. I was surprised by how little she played with her children.
God grabbed me by the heart that day. I still wasn't sure that we would parent these girls but I felt sure that God wanted us to be a part of their life in some way.