Our family adventure began back in December. I’ve been too busy and honestly hadn’t decided how I wanted to post about this. I’ve finally decided its time to put into words our new family adventure…adding 2 more kids in 2 days!
At the beginning of last December (2012), we were still waiting to hear back about beginning our homestudy to adopt from foster care. We had waited a year and a half on the waiting list to even begin the process, then had to take a 2 month parenting class and then we had to wait again to get our homestudy done. At this point we had been waiting six months since finishing the class and I was seriously wondering what God’s plan was for our family. At times, Seth still didn’t feel ready to adopt and didn’t want to pick out a kid “like a pair of pants at the store.” He wanted God to just give us a kid or clearly show us who we were supposed to adopt.
Whelp. Did God ever answer Seth’s prayers and mine, too! On December 8th, I received a phone call from my mom telling me that friends of theirs would be calling me because they were ready for us to adopt their granddaughter. I couldn’t believe it. They had talked to my mom a few times over the baby’s first year about us adopting her, but for one reason or another they weren’t ready for us to. But now, for a number of reasons they were now ready for us to adopt her. (To give just a basic background for why the baby needed to be adopted: her mother was a teen when she became pregnant, she wasn’t mature enough to care for the baby and after getting into legal trouble was now out of the state.)
I talked to the grandmother on the phone later that afternoon and talked through all the details of the situation. I didn’t want to even begin to get excited until I knew for sure that this would be permanent. I didn’t want to begin the process and then have them change their minds. I didn’t want to bring home a baby and then have to give her back. But they assured me that this would never ever happen. We had to trust God that this is what He wanted and that He would help us along the confusing path forward. We would be able to adopt her and would have to take her home before the adoption would be finalized and the actual date of when we could get her was still up in the air. We went to meet with a lawyer a couple of days later to find out about the process that would be required. Then we received a call from the grandparents informing us that we needed to get the baby that weekend because the grandfather would be having surgery the next week. We couldn’t believe it! We went from having no idea when we would be adopting a child to bam! having another child within a week! And thus began the mad scramble to prepare for this beautiful child we had yet to meet. I had looked at pictures online that the Grandma had sent me and I was soooo excited to meet the baby.
I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know how she would react to me or all of us. I didn’t know how Haddie would actually react once we brought the baby home. She was super excited about having a new sister, but how would the sudden change effect her?
In the days that followed during that week, we skyped with the baby and her grandma a few times, but of course, a one year old isn’t too interested in skyping someone she has never even met!
And I prepared Haddie’s room for our sweet new addition. I was so excited I couldn’t even sleep most days! I woke up early (which is unheard of for me!) and ended up in Walmart to buy tubs to sort clothes for both girls. And I ended up getting matching Christmas PJ’s for the girls. I was so excited to actually be able to say “The Girls!” And imagine, learning that you’ll have another child one week before Christmas! Yep, lots of chaos was going on in my mind!
I began the task of thinning out Haddie’s large clothes collection (thanks to God’s blessings of hand-me-downs). I had to empty out two of the four drawers in Haddie’s dresser to make room. Then we went through her toys and weeded out toys to give away and toys that would be too small and swallowable for a one year ago. Boy, how much I had forgotten about babies already! I decided to let her keep the small toys (think My Little Pet Shop, Mr. Potato Heads, and lots of dress up jewelry) in the guest room in a section now dearly called the “Haddie only toys.” Next, we had to make floor space for a crib and changing table. So, we ordered a hanging net for her stuffed animals and planned to get rid of her big basket that currently held them. And after a few room adjustments we had enough empty space and were all ready for a new baby!
Seth put plywood on the sides of his truckbed so we could bring back all of Kady’s stuff. And of course, Haddie wanted to help, too!
And then on Friday of that week, we left to go meet our new baby! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as always God took care of us and made it all go amazingly smoothly. The baby came right to me and warmed up to us rather quickly. I just wanted to cry when I took this first picture with her (and of course she had fallen and hit her head on the couch so she has a nice welt on her forehead, too).
A number of my friends told me I look so amazingly happy with her. And I was! We had to accompany her grandmother on one last appointment with her. And my heart melted as I watched my girls together for the first time.
God’s ways are so much higher than our ways. And His plans than our plans. He knew what He was doing all along! Here’s Daddy holding his girls together for the first time:
Later that afternoon, we got to watch the baby (whom we have now named Kady), while her grandparents attended an event at their church. It was so much fun getting to spend time with Kady and watch Seth interact with her. These moments again brought tears to my eyes.
And early on Saturday morning we began packing all of Kady’s things and loading the truck. We seriously looked like the Beverly Hill Billies. Ironically, Kady’s grandparents live in Beverly Hills…
We were so grateful to be able to have all of Kady’s baby things because we have given ours away over the years. We honestly had resigned ourselves to the fact that we weren’t going to have another baby. I didn’t want to go through another pregnancy, and we had it on our hearts to adopt. But since we were planning on going through foster care, the likelihood of getting a baby was pretty much 0! But again, God had other things in mind! But back to our story…
On the two hour trip back home, I couldn’t stop staring at my girls. They were alike in so many ways. Blond hair. Blue/Green eyes. Light complexion. And thumb suckers, none the less!
Once we got home, we unloaded the truck and I began the challenge of figuring out what went where and what we even needed. We were able to bless a few different friends with the doubles of the baby items and things that Kady had already out grown. And in return we were blessed by others with lots of baby girl clothes.
I don’t even remember how we slept that night. I know I was excited and still in disbelief that I had two kids now! But I think I was so worn out from the previous week that I slept pretty well. It was seriously unreal to wake up the next morning and get two girls ready for church! It was a blessing to so many to see their prayers answered for us…and the beautiful baby girl that God had blessed us with!
The next day we unexpectedly added another blessing to our family! Jenco called us and said that he would be coming that day! See, Jenco is a teen that we met through our youth group and had been in our lives for about 3 years. He didn’t have the best home life and once he turned 18 he wanted to move in with us. He had turned 18 a week before, but he wasn’t planning on moving in until the beginning of the new year. Well, family matters had transpired and it was time for him to join our family! So, two days after we got a new baby, we also got a new teen son! He had already been in the process of moving in over the past month or so. We already had his room ready for him (thankfully!), but he hadn’t yet moved many of his clothes. So a couple of days later we ventured out to get him some essentials from the thrift store (no, not underwear from a thrift store, that’s nasty!).
I loved seeing all my 3(!) kids playing together and I loved how Jenco and Haddie had taken such a liking to Kady already.
Our life had definitely changed drastically in less than a week! But God knew what He was doing! No longer did we have a quiet house with only one child. Now we have a screamer (Kady) and a teen who loves to blare his music! It’s been an interesting adjustment, but God has seriously made it so much smoother than I could have ever imagined or wished for. Of course there have been rough patches along the way these past 4 months. I’ve needed lots of naps. There’s been late late nights and early mornings. More plates to fix, more dishes to wash, more toys to pick up, more laundry to do. But I wouldn’t change it for the world and our family is now complete more than ever!
Not only that…but we also added a couple other additions to the family. Meet our new (to us) van, Big Bertha:
She’s not very pretty, I’ll admit. But hey, what do you expect for $900? And she got a lot uglier before she got better. We had to replace the two front doors (window didn’t rolls down and with no AC that’s not cool. Literally.) with ones Seth salvaged at the junk yard. So ugly gray body plus two white doors. Yep, even uglier. Thankfully Seth’s dad decided to have pity on us, and helped us paint her all a nice shade of blue. But unfortunately, I don’t actually have any pics of her finished for some reason (and its too dark outside to get a good shot).
And we also added another more pretty face to the family. Meet Justus:
Honestly, I never thought we’d get a dog. I’m not a big animal person. And I don’t like the extra mess that dogs and animals bring into the house, let alone the extra expenses on our already strained budget. But Jenco really wanted a dog and Haddie had been begging for one for a long time. So, when a friend needed a new home for doggie, we knew it was time to add one more member to our growing family! And except for the fact that she has a knack for escaping while we’re gone, she’s been a fun addition! The girls love her and she is soooo great with them! And of course Jenco loves her too, although he pretends not to.
So, we now have a big happy family! 4 months after bringing Kady home, we are still waiting on her adoption to be finalized. The lawyer seems to be taking her sweet time. Thankfully all the paperwork is finally in and all we need to do is have the judge sign off on all of it. As far as Jenco’s adoption, we hope to have that finalized later this year after he takes a missions trip to India, since there’s not enough time to get the adoption done, his name changed and then have time to get all the required trip items (passport, visa, tickets). So please be praying for our family still. For the adoptions to be finalized quickly, for God to provide for all our needs (like I’m sure He will!) and for our other house to sell. It’s hard enough living on one salary…let alone paying for two houses! Thankfully, he has provided renters for the meantime, but we’d still like to not have that extra burden hanging over our heads.
But anyways, we are so thankful for this new family that God has created for us!
He has blessed us beyond measure and I’m amazed that He has found us worthy to take on these wonderful children! If you’re waiting for adoption or adding to your family in some other way, be patient and know that God has a plan. Do your part and wait for Him to do His!