We started out like any other family, a husband and a wife who desired to have a boy and a girl. Long before they were born, our future children were named... Aubrey* and Zachary. The beginning and the end, A to Z. We had a plan! Ok, so we were young, and thought we controlled the universe, but we had a plan!
Fast forward a little, we were on our way to achieving the Grand Plan. I was pregnant(and monstrously huge) with our first child. A girl! All was going according to plan so far. Aubrey was born and turned out to be the poster child for Lactose Intolerance. She was a screaming little bundle of... well, joy I guess. We were tired and very, very unnerved, but we figured it's like the saying goes, if the first one is hard, the second one will be a breeze. Fast forward another two years or so, and MAN we were right on track! I was pregnant with our second child, who just so happened to be extremely modest in utero. But we were confidant in our plan! We planned on Zachary completing our little family soon before the purchase of our "castle" as little Aubrey liked to call it. Up until two weeks before the arrival of our little bundle we were positive it was our little Zachary. Well, as you can imagine, we were shocked to find our precious plans thwarted by a precious little girl.
She was named Laura*, and she was perfect in every way... until we brought her home! With that stellar combination of my digestive system and her daddy's temper, we were in for a wild ride! Where was that fabled "easy" child? Little did we know, that for us, that child would not exist! Both the girls finally leveled out about the one year mark, but well before that, we had decided that we did not want any more of our own "spawn". My husband gallantly decided to go "under the knife", and our plan was put aside for good, or so we thought.
We had talked on and off about adoption for years, even before we were married. We still wanted our Zachary, but weren't quite ready to admit that our family was not complete. Time passed, and we became very comfortable in our little life. But God had MUCH bigger plans for us than we had dreamed up for ourselves. He had to do some serious legwork to accomplish it all, including financial ruin, the loss of our "castle", a house fire when we were on the brink of financial recovery, and finally, living in a two bedroom apartment with two beautiful little girls for one year. Aubrey and Laura were both happy and well adjusted 6 and 9 year olds when we moved into a home of our own again. The house was exactly what we had asked God for down to the size of the backyard and layout of the house. The drapes even matched our furniture!
We had started the adoption process back before the house fire, in fact we were in line for our home study when it occurred. The fire obviously put things off a bit, but now, we were ready to start again. A year passed and we were well on our way to actually fulfilling our dream. Little Zachary here we come! During the process, we had been asking our small group to pray for patience for us, as the process is long and taxing. The last day of the home study was upon us, and we passed with flying colors. Our case worker presented us with a few options at the end. We had said previously that we were open to a sibling group of two boys( I kept telling my wonderful husband that that may not be what God had in store for us!)and she told us she did have a sibling group, but that it was a boy and a girl. She let us know that she had been thinking all along that these two had been a good choice for our family. We discussed it a bit more and my husband asked their names... in hopes of the boy being a Zach ;). And that's when God began to REALLY work in our lives. She said " Their names are Andrie* and Patience". UUUUMMMMMM Seriously!? We had a quick conference and it was decided, we had prayed specifically for patience and we got... wait for it... Patience!
So I'm guessing you're looking at our picture and thinking to yourself, "but there are 5 children in that picture, you've only got 4 so far!" Yep, you're very observant. Six months into the foster to adopt process, we got the call. Our case worker asked us to take an eleven month old little boy for two weeks until they could find a permanent foster placement for him. We had another little conference, and decided that if God wanted us to take care of his children, that meant all of them He thought we could handle. Boy were we in for another wild ride! Carden* arrived 2 hours later, followed by a truck full of baby stuff(we had nothing in the way of baby needs). He was cranky, and we later found out he had an ear infection, developmentally delayed by about 5 months, and well, he was a baby! We told the case worker that we would happily give him back when the time came, but GOD had other plans as usual. We were told he could stay with us if we chose, and the time came to choose. The day we had to decide, my husband asked God to help him with his choice. That day, he was the PERFECT child, no tantrums, sweet and loving, I mean PERFECT! Rewind a little bit, Earlier in the week I was praying about little Carden. God frequently speaks to me during these sessions and that day was a real eye opener.
He said "He is my gift to you",
I asked "what's the return policy?"
Silence... dead Silence.
"So how long is this gift going to last"
"For a time" -God
Really??? More specific PLEASE! God didn't say another word! I spoke with Him again and told Him if He wanted this to happen, then He needed to change my huband's heart, because I wasn't going to be the one to push it. Lesson for those of you considering adoption, or even having kids of your own... If you aren't both on board, don't do it, it will end in heartbreak for all those involved,especially the child. So back to hubby's decision. Well, lets just say his heart turned to pudding and little Carden got to stay. We struggled with it frequently, and just had to keep trusting that God knew the path ahead far better than we did.
We still stuggle. We still have hard days. After two and a half years, there are many days when we question if God has the right parents for this job. They are all legally ours, and we are working daily to stay on the path God has set before us.
The posts you read here after will detail each of our childrens stuggles as well as our own to learn to be the family God has planned for us. We're still waiting on Zachary, wondering if he's out there waiting on us, or even waiting to be born. We're just waiting on God's timing.
* some names changed to protect our little herdlings from being found...