December 24, 2008. Jim and I were busy getting everyone ready for our church Christmas Eve service, but our minds were on the situation with the girls. Jim had still never even seen the girls. I knew that he probably would that night. We were still praying and I wasn't getting any clarity at all. I was willing and ready but Jim was still very uncertain.
We sat in the balcony at church that night trying to keep our 4 year old, 2 year old and our 11 month old quiet. I pointed out the girls who were on the front pew with Grammy and her family. They looked so cute. I remember their Granddaddy walking across the stage and hearing G yell "DADDY!!!!" My heart melted. That was the only Daddy she had ever known. After the service we went down and I introduced Jim to Granddaddy and Grammy. I'll admit it was weird for us. Probably comparable to when the social worker comes to check out you and your house, in a typical foster situation. They put no pressure on us but we felt like we had to look like we had it together...meanwhile, our kids were running up and down the pews laughing uncontrollably. It was brief and we didn't even talk to the girls.
That night, after we had put the kids to bed and put together all of their Christmas presents Jim and I sat and talked. I told him how after I had introduced them I felt an instant peace. Like it was already worked out. In my mind that meant that they were able to keep the girls and I didn't need to worry about it anymore.
The next day was Christmas!!!! After all the kids opened their gifts Jim handed me my stocking. In it were 2 envelops (I love it when he gives me envelopes! That is how he first told me he loved me and how he proposed to me). The first one said I was getting an ipod. The second said this:
"yes, just not older than our oldest.
yes, whenever God sends them."
Tears ran down my face. I was so excited and scared. But really I didn't think this meant we would have the girls. In my head they were settled and everything had worked out. I really thought this just meant that Jim and I both wanted to pursue fostering in the future.
What I didn't know was that Jim had gotten up early Christmas morning and had spent time praying and felt like God spoke to him (don't freak! God didn't come sit beside him on the couch) and told him that he needed to be the girls Dad. It wasn't specific to forever, just that they needed a Daddy and Jim needed to be that Daddy for as long as they needed. Jim doesn't change his mind often...and typically his first instinct is right (totally frustrating for me!!!) so I was shocked and amazed and knew that God had changed his heart. It was like nothing I had ever experienced!
I went ahead and wrote Grammy an email letting her know that Jim and I were both willing to step in and parent the girls if they still needed help but that I had a very peaceful feeling that somehow God had worked it all out and that the girls were able to stay with them. Imagine my shock when I received an email back on the 2nd saying it was definitely only for a season and asking me to call so that we could talk. I printed the email out and walked down stairs with it, with a scared goofy smile on my face. Jim just read the email and said "looks like they are coming here!"
We had no idea just how hard that would prove to be!