Into the Depths

Our Adoption Story: Part One (Written 6 years ago, October 2014)

Nine months ago, Joe and I welcomed into our lives, our home, our hearts and our family three little children needing a forever home to call their own.
Nine months ago, our lives forever changed.
Nine months ago, we began to experience, feel, change and endure emotions, milestones, challenges, hardships, loves, miracles and blessings we never had thought possible and some we thought we would only ever imagine.
Nine months ago was a beginning and an end for us….

One week ago, another beginning and end graced our presence as we went before a judge and made our new family official.
One week ago, we continued to allow God to use us in ways we know will not only touch the lives of our six children, but will have a ripple effect to touch hundreds more.
One week ago, we said ‘I Do’ to three little children in search of a forever home and WE became that forever home, through the good and the bad times. Just as no one can prepare you when you give birth to your first child, we know nothing can prepare us for what lies ahead. But with faith, love, hope, and courage we will forge ahead knowing that God’s Will will be done.

If someone had come to me and said I would be a mother to SIX children one day, I would have laughed at their blatantly delusional thought. If someone had told me I would foster to adopt some of my children one day, I would have said ‘Nope, not us’. If someone had told me in the years to come God had in store for us a way to serve Him mightier than any way we had yet done, I never would have imagined that way would include giving ourselves to those in need in the capacity that we have.

But someone did come to us one year ago, after God opened our hearts and minds to not only adoption, but fostering to adopt, and asked us to consider taking in a sibling set of three. Our initial thoughts were…..3 MORE CHILDREN?! Where would we put them? How will we feed them? How do we provide for three more children?! And after that initial shock of the sheer number of children that would bring our household total up to, God gently nudged us and reminded us of His words:

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

(Matthew 25:40)

We had that someone place our home study on that sibling group for review and of those received, ours was selected. It wasn’t a long or tedious road for us from that point forward, even though when you are in the midst of the unknown it does feel as if it is long and tedious. A mere month later we were meeting those children, being introduced to them as their ‘forever home’ and their ‘new Mommy and Daddy’. A short month and a couple visits after that, they were placed with us as a foster care placement. Legally, we were bound to foster them for 6 months before we were allowed to adopt. During that time, the birth parents surrendered their rights, an incredibly noble and respectable action that we never anticipated happening, but we are so grateful did. After that life changing decision, the birth parents were allowed one last visit and said good bye to their children. I can not even imagine how difficult that must have been. How heart wrenching and devastating that was for them.

“A Child born to another woman calls me mom. The depth of the tragedy and the magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me'”

-Jody Landers

The road has been a roller coaster of emotions, thoughts and events. Taking on 3 children that have had a traumatic past and potentially experienced things that Joe and I, as adults, never have endured. Children who had been, so far, raised by more than one family in many different environments, with different expectations and rules(or lack there of) was only the very tip of the iceberg. The iceberg our lives crashed into when we closed our eyes and held God’s hand as He led us down this path He had planned for us. I say crashed, not as if God was misleading, but because we felt we were blindly walking into this journey. We were trusting in God, of course, but feeling very vulnerable and naive in the process we were partaking in. After the tip of the iceberg was addressed and understood, we learned that all icebergs have massive bases under the surface of the water. Bases not seen initially and definitely not seen if one does not delve into the depths of sea to find it. The moment we told that someone to place our home study on these children, we knew we would be delving into the depths of the sea with them, because giving up on them was not an option, turning back was not part of plan and being weak in the face of fear, hardships, and trials was not even a possibility in our minds. When we began to dive further into the sea, chipping away at this iceberg, we met challenges head on, we stayed true to all six of our children and taught them to never back down, to never give up, to face your fears and let God take a front seat in your life. We taught them that even though things may seem hard or challenging, that you can and will get through them. That even when times are tough and every ounce of your being may want to throw in the towel, don’t, because triumph lies on the other side of the trial.