I wish you could all sit in our living room while I tell this story. Because if you sat across from me I could lean in close and ensure that you heard me emphasize His Goodness. His Mercy. And our Joy in that. I’d know you looked into my eyes and saw them implore you to treat this part of our story delicately.
It requires tender hands because of what we believe. We believe in God the Father. We believe in His power to put broken pieces together in canvases that we could not have dreamed. But we also believe there are pieces with jagged edges that are sharp. Pieces that won’t be fully refined until Glory. Because this is a redemption story. You see, in order for something to be redeemed it must be rising from something broken. The broken pieces are important because as they demonstrate what He has redeemed, they magnify His glory. But the broken pieces also create tender spots.
Because I know you’ll honor and respect that tenderness, here we go…
In September something happened that broke me. Nearly at least. Something happened that crushed the children I love and I couldn’t stop it. Not only could I not stop it, I felt like God could have and should have. But didn’t. I actually said the words to RRL, “I don’t know if I can keep believing.” And I entered a couple of days of darkness. I’m not over-dramatizing when I say that I felt like I stood on a cliff with a choice. I could keep walking along the narrow ridge of hope or I could jump into the darkness and try to find something else. At that cross-roads, the Lord pursued me. He reminded me during those two days of all of my “remember whens,” the other times when His goodness overcame my lack of understanding. The times when He had prepared me for just this moment. So I chose. I decided to choose “by faith” that our family would be 9 and that adoption would be part of their redemption story. It was not the first day “adoption” was on the table. But it was the first day I fully embraced it as a possibility.
That day I ordered a picture of my 7 favorites to hang in our dining room where there had been a picture of 4. I ordered canvases of my bonus 3 loves to hang with the baby pictures of my biological 4. I contacted a photographer friend and asked to schedule family photos ASAP. And we started shopping for a van.
We were going to be 9. In heart if not legally. And there was going to be healing.
Since we are friends, I have to tell you something. These steps of obedience were one part brave, one part faithful, and a whole lotta of parts “I have no idea what else to do.” I was too weak to pray more than a groaning. I was too weak to have decided this alone. We were carried. In part by the prayers of many of you. Thank you.
And then. THEN. Two weeks ago, not long after we were given the van and exactly 9 months after we began our Wide Right, the day came. The FOUR parents to our bonus three kiddos- TWO by body, TWO by heart- all officially, legally, agreed. We all took a beautiful, hard, brave, scary, glorious, faithful, step forward together in the best interest of the mutually loved 3 children. A step toward their forever home.
And so it is with great joy that RRL and I announce
our family will soon be forever 9.
This does not hold even the tiniest resemblance to what we dreamed 5 years ago when three little ones stumbled into our home for the first time. But our God has been so good and tender and patient with us as we came to this pivotal moment. He has grown a desire in our hearts that reaches beyond the kind of love we are humanly capable. He has given us peace. He has honored our cries for help and He has not left us. There is still so much about the “why” that we do not like nor may ever understand. But I can tell you with absolute certainty, we would not be the same if we had not been given the honor and privilege of being parents to our SEVEN.
BUT please don’t stop there. There is something I need you to know to depths of your core. Our bonus 3 have biological parents who love them. And those two, they are the bravest kind of brave. None of the other choices before or after matter as much as choosing this. And I want you all to know, this is hard. The hardest kind of hard. Sure, it is hard for the 6 of us who said “yes”. But it is million trillion times harder for the 5 who will never stand together in quite the same way again. This step they have taken is a sacred and selfless one. So from all of us, and all of you that have journeyed with us, there is only one appropriate response. One that honors and respects, forgives, appreciates and loves. And most of all, one that prays. Will you pray with us that the power of redemption will be felt through our family within the walls of our home, AND also by those who will always be part of us but do not live here. Because it will be a hard path from broken to beautiful. Please don’t ever remember us without remembering them. They will always be part of this story, part of us.
One more time, lean in close. Hear me and do everything you can to cradle this truth in your heart: You can not take one part of our story without the other. Don’t you dare ignore the hard part. You can’t fully praise Him with us for what He has done, if you won’t acknowledge the broken pieces He is gathering and redeeming. And don’t you dare forget the evidences of His promises fulfilled. You could never fully grieve with us over what is lost if you won’t acknowledge that His miracles are still very real. If you can’t see how good He is to take every single ounce of that same brokenness and redeem it beyond belief.
Do you want to know what gave way to this miraculous turn of events? It was that very same day that nearly crushed me. For all 11 of us, that day ended up being pivotal in our hearts. It became a day for recognizing something we’ve all seen but not fully known- our bonus 3 are home. The hardest of days was one He used to bring us to a place of obedience, a place where He could work.
If you don’t hear anything else, please know…
In adoption there is grief. But He is good. So there is also Joy. Adoption is a place where Grief and Joy swirl together in an impossible way. A way only He could design. In adoption there is a miraculous new beginning from the most unlikely of places. In adoption there is a redemption story. Ours is just beginning.
We love you,
For the TL9