(Thank you to Tricia for today’s guest post! This adoption story includes infant adoption, foster-adoption, and older-child adoption, too! And Tricia gets bonus points for being married to another Ken — because I think they make the best husbands! )
Our Journey to the Gift of Adoption
Ken and I married in January 1983. Six months after we were married, I had an ectopic pregnancy and over the next seven years came multiple surgeries, lots of infertility issues and treatments, and finally the news that we would not be able to birth any children. Ken and I both had fertility issues, but at this point, the one ovary that remained was brutally scarred and not functioning. We were told to look at other avenues. We chose adoption… or more accurately, God chose it! This was in February of 1988. We loved the idea of open adoption and applied immediately with an agency.
On September 4, 1988, in the midst of literally moving into our first house, and Ken about to start his first teaching job, we received a phone call. We were literally sitting on boxes in our kitchen hearing the news that a baby had been born and she was bi-racial; the couple that had been chosen by the birthmother weren’t expecting a bi-racial child and had decided not to adopt.
We were next on the birthmother’s list. I was ecstatic… Ken not so much. I am an eternal optimist and he more on the pessimistic side. The timing looked perfect to me and overwhelming to him. Long story short: God orchestrated an amazing meeting and when Ken held Kristin, it was done!!
In April of 1990, we unexpectedly were given the opportunity to adopt our next little girl. Things were rocky with our circumstances, but God always works out the details. It did not take long to realize that Megan had some special issues. Amidst that, when she was six weeks old, I got pregnant. Almost a year later, in March of 1991, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy! God has an amazing sense of humor. We named him Aaron.
We rocked along for years with our three kiddos, finding out in the process, that Megan had significant disabilities. Again, God always knows the plan for His glory, even when it seems hopeless. Our lives took a drastic shift when Megan was ten years old and diagnosed with cognitive and mental health issues. I quit my job as a nurse and we downsized to live on a teacher’s salary so I could stay home and manage our mounting family issues. This was one of God’s huge turning points in our life.
I engulfed myself in trying to manage Megan’s school issues and repair the ever increasing damage our family was sustaining due to Megan’s issues. Needless to say, I can’t manage anything… but God, that’s His specialty.
One year after we downsized and moved into our small town, Megan came home from school and asked me a haunting question (which was again God’s divine plan):
Megan told me that we are always talking to her and her siblings about God calling His children to take care of people in need, orphans and widows. She went on to say that she had a friend at school that was a foster child, and if we believed what we were telling them, why weren’t we fostering children who had no home?
Out of the mouths of babes — and one with many challenges!
So, we prayed and prayed, as a family and as husband and wife. We knew God was leading, so in 2001 we took classes and geared up to foster one-to-two children in our home. Again, God had other plans.
Within two weeks of our certification, we received a call about a sibling group of four. They needed immediate placement, sooooo — we took them all. They were 5, 3, 3 and 2 years old: James, Jared, Jason, and Jasmine. Our house was overflowing with life and activity. The twins had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Jason was significantly disabled. They had all suffered horrific abuse throughout their short lives. It became apparent quickly that James, the oldest, was very intelligent, and abusive to his younger siblings. They were not safe around him, so CPS moved him to another placement. Longer story short, we adopted Jared, Jason, and Jasmine in 2004. James came back to live with us, after his adoptive placement failed, when he was ten years old. We adopted James in 2008.
To say that life is not full of daily complications would be a lie. But, there is no greater truth than God’s promise of being in the midst of the neediest among us. God lives in our house: He always provides, always comforts, always works EVERYTHING together for His glory.
We are on an uncertain journey for sure, but we are with the One who knows where we are headed and how this journey unfolds.
There are not adequate words to describe what happens in our lives when we follow Jesus, and just simply do what He commands in the New Testament. It doesn’t make sense in this world. God’s economy will never make sense by worldly standards. We are a family of nine. I am a stay at home mom, with a life I could never have imagined, or even thought I wanted. Something happens to your heart when you open it to the least of these. God makes a way!
(Do you have an inspiring adoption story of your own to share? If so, I’d love to share it, so please contact me!!)