We have been certified to foster-adopt for 11 months, but now the wait is over, our girl is coming! And by girl I mean girls! So this post is both to share the story and for me to always have something to look to when the going gets tough, that God was in it all the way.
I’ve wanted to adopt since childhood, Gunnar hadn’t thought about it, but while dating he said he wasn’t against it so I knew God could work with that. We were in no rush and wanted to have a kid biologically first. After Evan’s traumatic birth I was ready to adopt but Gunn wasn’t. During Avery’s pregnancy Gunn agreed we should probably grow our family by adoption from them on, I’m not one to suffer silently and pregnancy is not my favorite.
We are in a community where adoption is very normal. I love that in our church we have watched and walked with dozens of families who have fostered and/or adopted through the local county or internationally or through private domestic adoption. There are so many ways to get involved and there are so many kids that need a home. So over time Gunnar moved from “if we adopt” to “when we adopt.” But it wasn’t until a dream where he heard another child, maybe a girl, calling him that he felt like God said, “There’s another one that calls you daddy.”
And so we started the process in fall 2017. We got certified in April 2018 and then we waited. Evan had been praying for a sister for a couple years already. We knew we wanted Evan to stay our oldest so we set our parameters as one girl, 0-5 years old. Maybe a sibling set, but that maybe was really slim.
We got called in June, August and September of 2018 and said yes to each of those girls, but never got called back which means their social worker chose another family as their match.
Evan started his allergy program in September 2018 and I asked God for no calls until we had at least two appointments under our belts and we knew what to expect. And then because I’m greedy and didn’t want to cancel plans I asked him to hold off until after the holidays.
On our way to my parents’ for Thanksgiving I told Gunnar, “I feel like when the new year comes, our daughter is coming.” I had no audible word from God, I had no sign. As we were driving through the Tehachapi mountains I just had a feeling. Just like I had a feeling Evan would be born early (37 weeks, 2 days) and Avery would come early and be big (37 weeks, 7.5 lbs which was way bigger than Evan’s 5.5lbs at birth). I don’t get them often but I thought maybe God was giving me that feeling to help prep my heart.
After a lovely Thanksgiving weekend we were back home and back to normal. As we tucked in the boys and prayed one night something special happened. As soon as we were done Evan sat up and said, “I think I heard sister is coming in a month and 20 days.” Surprised but also believing, Gunn told him, “that’s awesome that you heard that, mommy’s going to go write that in her journal right now.” And while I was writing he ran over and said, “or maybe it was two months and 20 days?” I hugged him and asked how he heard that and he said, “I think I heard God say, ‘Evan, sister is probably coming in a month and 20 days.'” So I took out a calendar and marked Jan 3 and Feb 23.
When we didn’t get a call on Jan 3 I was bummed. But I know God has more information than I do so I wasn’t worried.
On January 25 I got a call and it was for a sibling set of 2 little girls. Normally I hear out the social worker and politely say no thanks knowing that both Gunn and I were feeling pretty strongly about just one. In fact we had discussed it again just a few days prior. But after listening to the social worker I just felt like I could say yes. I warned her Gunn would probably say no but agreed to call him anyway. When I called and gave Gunn the run down he quickly agreed that he felt yes too!
So I called the social worker back and asked her to submit our profile for consideration. In 10 minutes we had both gone from “only one” to yes for these little sisters. With the county they are from the social worker warned us that they are pretty quick, so we should hear back in the next week or two. If we don’t that means they chose another family.
So as we counted down to February 8 we planned and dreamed. We asked friends to pray with us and we told our family all we knew, which wasn’t much, about them. I mourned a little the family we had up to this point. The boys are as predictable and easy as they have ever been, why would we sign up to make life so much harder?
When February 8 came and no call I was equally sad and relieved. In the next week we said yes to two more calls to of one girl each and I thought for sure one of them was ours, but alas, no call back from them either.
I was getting weary. It felt like our yes didn’t even matter because no one ever chose us. But in the claim of my mind I felt God say, “your yes matters to me.” Over the next week I felt God showing me things in my heart, judgements I made both consciously and unconsciously about the system and other foster families and about God himself. I said He was sovereign and I could trust Him and His timing, but there was still a part of me that felt anxious and unsettled.
Then on February 20 I got a call from our social worker that the county called and we were chosen for those sisters! I couldn’t believe it. It was too far after the 2 week deadline. That hope was dead and yet here it was, alive again. We scheduled the disclosure meeting for the next week.
We talked, we prayed, we cried, we rearranged rooms. We went to that disclosure meeting and heard a lot about their story and we praised God for their current care provider who had taken great care of them. We said yes within the hour. After picking the boys up from the baby sitters we took them to dinner and told them the news. They cheered and celebrated and asked if we could get them the next day.
We got to meet the girls a few days ago. They are precious and lovely. We know there will be so much work to do to connect with them and build trust and love. We are feeling confident that God has led us into this. We are trusting that our friends and family will be an army of support – physically, spiritually, emotionally and tangibly.
So, here we go! We have a few more visits with them over the next couple weeks and then they move in. Please pray with us and for us. Please pray for these little girls! Pray for the boys to love them fiercely. Please give us grace if we are late to respond or forget to call back. We plan to have 4-6 weeks of bonding here at home and we’ll see how we go from there!
If you see us with the girls don’t be offended if we don’t engage with you and introduce you, we’re trying learn them and them us, we’ll be keeping interaction outside of family to a minimum for a bit. If you ask us about their history we will ignore your question and change the subject since it’s their story and not ours to tell.
Thanks for your love and support along the way. Thanks for being in this with us!