Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Adoption, Us, and the 21st Chromosome

I FINALLY have some really, really, really exciting news to share about our adoption!!!

But first some backstory.  :)  Because the exciting part of the story simply wouldn't be complete without a big-picture understanding of where we have been.

In a nutshell, God has led us down a twisty, turny, upside down and inside out sort of path over the past several  months.  We have felt confused, frustrated, uncertain and directionless.  Mostly directionless.  It is hard having God slam a door shut, with not even a small inkling of what to do next.

We began the adoption process this time around to bring home two specific children, who we had met in 2006.  They'd been waiting so long for a family, and quite frankly, time was (and is) running out.  These children are older than our kids, and both are HIV+.  Our decision to adopt these children was not something that we ever expected.  When God  began quietly speaking to my heart about this possibility, I brushed it off.  Ignored it.  Assumed it was just too crazy and that it was not something we could do.  We assumed we would eventually adopt children with medical needs, including HIV, but hadn't anticipated moving forward with the adoption of older children. 

I DID commit to praying for these kids, however, that they would find a family.  I just didn't see how it could possibly be us...even though the idea kept nagging me in the back of my mind. 

And yet months later, during a discussion about adoption, Kevin said he didn't see how he could return to Ethiopia and NOT bring home these particular children.  Who we'd met and prayed for all all these years.  I was shocked.  Floored.  I'd never, ever, ever mentioned to him about my prayers, or about how God had stirred my heart.  Completely independent of me and my thoughts, God brought my husband to this conviction.

So the prayers and discernment and seeking of counsel began.  We spoke to many people who have walked the difficult road of parenting older children who come from trauma.  There are some seriously wise mamas out there and I am so grateful for their insights, wisdom and support that I received during that time.  We prayed and felt that the Lord confirmed that yes, we were to move forward and begin another adoption.  We felt certain that this is what we were called to do.  Crazy?  Sure.  But sometimes God likes crazy.

We chose an agency to do our homestudy and began getting our paperwork in order.  We mailed in our application to AAI (our placing agency), paid various fees, spoke to their social worker about the challenges that we were sure to face.  I felt nervous, and a little afraid, but at peace with the fact that God had us on this path for a reason.  We knew that it was Him putting this on our hearts and our minds, that it was Him asking us to follow Him into this process and into the lives of these two children.  I wholeheartedly believed, with everything in me, that the Lord would not call us without equipping us.  So we continued to follow.

I suppose that it was around this time that I became aware of the work Reece's Rainbow does.  And fell in love with this blog.  (I seriously canNOT get enough.)  And fell head-over-heels-crazy-in-love with "chromosomally enhanced" kiddos.  Children born with Down syndrome.  I began learning about the plight these children face. 


In the United States, all but 8% will be aborted.  (Yes, roughly 92% of babies with Down syndrome are killed prior to birth.)


In Eastern Europe and parts of Asia, they are moved from the orphanage to an asylum at age four...and generally end up dying there.


In Africa, there are simply very few, if any, services available for these children, and resources and medical care are limited.


And on it goes.


My heart felt touched, and moved, and broken for these precious little ones.  Kevin's too.  We found ourselves drawn to this small corner of the adoption world, but of course knew that if we ever did adopt again after bringing home these two older children, it would not be for many, many years.  Still, I found myself reading blogs and articles about Down syndrome.

It was in May when I received the phone call saying we could not, in fact, move forward with the adoption of the two children we'd been pursuing.  I was devastated.  Totally sad.  Shocked.  And the reason WHY we could no longer bring them home was the worst part.  Some things had come to light indicating that it would not be a safe placement for our family.  Even if we'd WANTED to move forward, our agency would not have allowed it.  Because we have young kids in our home.  Even now when I think about it I feel so incredibly sad for these two children...and what they have faced...and what they will surely continue to face.  At the same time I feel so grateful that God stepped in and protected all of us--our children AND these two waiting children--from a bad situation.  He is faithful.

Our feelings about the whole mess have always been hard to describe.  They still are.  We felt really sad...but not as much for us...moreso for these girls, who are victims of a hard world that you and I probably have no concept of.  Will they ever have a family?  I don't know.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Time is running out.  And in addition to all of those heavy thoughts, we felt confused...because really...

We hadn't planned to adopt again so soon.  We truly hadn't.  We'd thought we'd begin the process sometime in 2011 maybe, if not later.  Both because of finances and because of our unique situation, having so many young children.  But God had spoken to our hearts.  And we'd been certain that He'd asked us to move forward towards pursuing these girls.  Which meant beginning the paperchase right away.

So where did all of that leave us?  Mid-homestudy, several thousand dollars in, and no CLUE what we were supposed to be doing.  We'd always anticipated adopting waiting children with HIV, but due to some circumstances out of our control (that had nothing to do with HIV itself), that now seemed unlikely.  This was hard too...something that we'd felt so passionate about for the past five years became another dream lost. 

And I hated that.

I know, I know.  This may seem really silly to you.  But honestly, when we were in Ethiopia in 2006, we swore we'd be back.  We'd be back to adopt kids who'd been born with a stigma- and shame-inducing status that shouldn't matter as much as it does in Africa.  Kids who at that time weren't considered adoptable.  But things were changing.  We have lots of friends in real life, that we see on a regular basis, who are raising children born with HIV.  There is such a community of these adoptive families in the Denver metro area.  It's nothing short of amazing.  We have access to a top-notch pediatric HIV clinic where my friend is a nurse.  I'd even joined the Community Advisory Board at the clinic where I attend meetings every other month or so.  I'm a volunteer with From HIV to Home.  We felt ready, equipped, prepared to parent HIV+ children.  And we've felt that this was inevitable, for years now.

So needless to say, Kevin and I were forced to take a good, long hard look at our motivation for adopting and at what this whole proecss was about.  We made the decision to take a break and catch our breath, to process all that had happened and changed.  I contacted our social worker and told her that we'd continue gathering paperwork, but that we'd be going slowly.  We requested she make sure that we were approved for a broad range of medical needs, since HIV was no longer probable.

And we didn't discuss adoption with each other all that often anymore.  It was sort of this latent stress in our lives.  "What are we going to end up doing?" one of us would ask the other every so often.  "I have NO idea" was the standard response.  Really we were just exhausted--weary of the tragic situation currently happening in Ethiopia with these girls, tired of not knowing where we were heading, sick of being in process but not being that excited about it because we had NO desire to sit on a list, waiting for the referral of a child who had lots of families lined up for them.  But what need could our family meet?

Little by little though we inched closer to being done with our homestudy.  I made it known to our placing agency that we were open to kids with pretty much any and all medical needs, though all the while my heart still felt drawn to children with Down syndrome.  But you just don't see it that often among orphans in Ethiopia.

Sooooooo...I was shocked when I received an email from our agency asking if we were interested in seeing the file of a baby girl, T., who'd been waiting for a family (she'd had one lined up at one point, but they fell through.)  This little girl was overall pretty healthy.  Nothing too earth shattering in her file.  And she'd been born with Down syndrome.  She was BEAUTIFUL.  Huge brown eyes, chubby cheeks, thick curly hair.

Total no-brainer.  We emailed back and said we were interested.  :)

Even though we'd been approved for two children, we couldn't sit around and wait for another child to come into care who met our specifications.  This sweet baby girl needed a home and a family who could move on it quickly.  So we adjusted our expectations yet again and started growing accustomed to the idea of bringing home just one little one this time.

Until our agency emailed again, some number of days later.  ANOTHER little girl with Down syndrome, M., who they'd believed would NEVER be adoptable, 3-ish (probably older) years old with a big grin and sweet eyes, had suddenly, pretty much miraculously, had her paperwork issues resolved.  After many months of waiting, with little hope of having a family, she could now be referred to adoptive parents.

And we began praying like crazy.  One vs. two.  We'd initially PLANNED to bring home two children, but these were YOUNG children living with developmental delays, potential heart defects, and the general unknowns that come with adoption.  What was God wanting for our family, for these girls?  I'd totally wrapped my head around just bringing home one baby.  I'd convinced myself it made so much more sense for our already-large-ish family.  We wouldn't have to buy a bigger van.  Logistically much simpler.  Lots and lots of reasons why one child is preferrable to two.

But. 

We serve an amazing, huge, sometimes (usually?  always?) surprising God.  He showed us, over time, that He wanted us to say yes to loving and parenting this precious little one as well.  (She is so stinking cute that it wasn't hard from an emotional standpoint to say yes.  :) )  He showed us that He is in the details.  That this will probably be our last adoption, Ethiopian or otherwise, for the next many years (if not ever--though we will NEVER say "never" when it comes to adoption.  Or biological children for that matter.)  And that He is the One who had orchestrated this process from the beginning.  He knew all along that two precious little ones would be in need of a family right when we became paper-ready to adopt.  He knew that our family, who all along had planned to bring home waiting children with HIV, was intended to adopt children with Down syndrome.

So.  Today we mail off their placement agreements.  And now we wait for everything to go to Ethiopia and will eventually be assigned a court date, for which we will travel. 

I've so loved the past few months of praying about and researching Down syndrome.  We've read books, watched documentaries, talked to families parenting these sweet little ones.  I feel ready--as ready as one can--and am so anxious to get our girls HOME!

And, yes, I'm nervous too.  I can't predict how things will go, what health issues may arise (both girls are said to be healthy, but who really knows?  We could have two children needing heart surgery in our future), what our therapy schedule will look like or how it will be meeting these various needs. 

I DO know that our kids are SO.VERY.EXCITED. to meet their new sisters.  We told them the news Saturday night.  Sat them down and announced it.  They got to see photos on the laptop and even a short video we have of one of the girls.  They are over the moon thrilled.  Every last one of 'em.  The dinnertable that night was a flurry of excitement and questions and chatter over where they would sleep, when they'll come home, and the many hugs they will get.

My heart is so full. 

God is good.

I'm sure people will have questions.  And opinions.  :)  I know we are taking on a lot, and I assure you these decisions were NOT made lightly.  It's been a months-long process of discerning God's will and evaluating our family's strengths, weaknesses and capabilities.  I look forward to exploring various aspects of this adoption and decision-making in the coming weeks here on my blog.  I will quickly just say that I think having an empty nest is overrated and that the love and joy that comes with parenting a child far outweighs any of the potential challenges.  This is true of my biological children, of my adopted children, and will be true of my adopted children with medical needs. 

Historically, people with Down syndrome have been misunderstood and underestimated.  And thanks to a whole host of unideal circumstances, including a medical community that continues to perpetuate these myths, this will most likely continue.

The truth is though that these girls will most likely grow up just like my other children...they will play games, go to school, most likely learn to read and write and sing and dance.  They'll laugh and cry and yes, disobey.  They will however go at their own pace.  There may be things they CAN'T do.  They will face prejudice and social stigma.

Maybe they will live with us as adults.

And that's okay.
 
I consider myself a parent to my children whether they are 6 or 26.  We'll do what we need to do.  Because we love our children.  I will never, ever be a mom who counts down the days until every last one of my kids is out of my house, when I can take trips to Paris or live in a Florida retirement community.  Even if I feel like it from time to time.  :)  I believe children are blessings, family's important and motherly duties change over time, but they never go away.  And I can't painstakingly plan out each and every detail of my life based on the future.  Because I don't know the future.  So I live for today like God tells me to, and today, there are two little girls without a home.  They happen to have Down syndrome. 

So that is our story, or at least the latest in a series of chapters in our story.  I cannot, sadly, share photos or names of our girls on my blog until we've gone to Ethiopia and passed court.  Bummer, I know.  But they are cutie pies, I assure you!  :)

And they've been waiting, and it's high-time they have a family.  We are that family.  I feel so incredibly blessed.  And...more than a little nervous too. 

But there is such peace.

God created these precious girls in His image, just as He wanted them to be.  Extra chromosome and all. 

I love it.  Love, love, love it. 

And so we are bringing them home.


50 comments:

Jenny said...

What a beautiful post, Brianna! Amazing (well, not really, but you know what I mean) how God meets the needs of these sweet girls while giving you the desire of your heart - 2 more children! Wonderful.

For now, we are done. However, if/when the door is opened again, I am very interested in HIV and learning more about Downs Syndrome. Who knows.

Congratulations!

Shonni said...

I am so excited for ya’llj! What wonderful news!!!

Amber said...

Praise God! Can't wait to hear how God works out all the details to bring these little treasures home!

Charity Hildebrand said...

Oh my gosh, I'm so excited for you guys! We JUST got back from Ethiopia on Sunday and I met your girls!! I have to look through my pictures again, but I'm pretty sure I have pictures of them. Sweetest little girls EVER! When I met them, I was SO excited to hear they already had a family - I had no idea it was you guys! How cool! Down Syndrome has been on our hearts too, I look forward to following your journey!

I will check my pictures . . . please shoot me an email!

Charity
joelandcharity@swissmail.org

Cat said...

SO excited for you guys! Oddly... I had an inkling this was where you were headed (and I don't even know you!)

Your family - new additions and all- are so very blessed.

Best of luck in all that lies ahead! :)

Jeannett said...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

EEK! I am so excited...and beyond bummed out...that you live so FAR!! :(

You complicate my life, Brianna Heldt. Sometimes I secretly hate you.

Have you been to www.kellehampton.com? Not so much for her DS specific blog, but the absolute eye candy that her Nella is?!

Oh my. So excited I can't stand it.

Angela said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE it, too!
I love how God drew your heart toward DS and then the agency called. OH. LOVE it. And, those girls are 2 of the cutest I've ever seen, and I cannot wait to get my hands on them!
We are here for you, in any way we can be!
Congratulations, my friend!!

Owlhaven said...

Oh, Brianna, I'm thrilled for your family!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Mary

excitedtobeafamily said...

Congratulations! I have been reading your blog for awhile and for some reason I thought you might be heading this direction. DS kids rock! I worked with a 5th grade boy with DS and he still is in a special place in my heart. He was so funny, smart, social and just an all around great kid! I can't wait to read more as your family grows! How exciting!

joy said...

Oh, Brianna! What exciting news! Thanks for sharing your heart and your family's journey with all of us--you guys are an amazing testament to the power of God when we let go and let Him. HOw blessed you are, to bring these two girls home and how blessed they are to be welcomed into such a loving family.

Kate said...

oh heldts! yay! yay! yay! you are one amazing family and those two girls are blessed to have you as parents. oh how exciting!! we are thrilled for you and look forward to hearing more of the process. oh i wish we weren't so far away from each other now. we'll be praying for you all. much love!!

Ginger said...

So excited for your family & the newest members to be!!! May God continue to bless you all! Can't wait to see their beautiful faces & learn their names!

this is us said...

hooray!!!! Your sweet new little ones picked the best family! Thank you Jesus for putting the Heldts together!

r. said...

Congrats!

Joanie said...

Yay!!!! What a story! I was on the edge of my seat. I had no idea about that horrendous percentage of abortions, and I feel that the presence of your babies in your family when you are out and about will be such a ministry in that department. God is Good!

So excited for you!!!! So excited for the babies!!!! So excited for their eagerly awaiting brothers and sisters!!!!

And I am so sorry for your losses as you went through this. I can't imagine what processing that took, but through it all you trusted in the Lord and He is worthy and faithful.

mayhem said...

Hooray!! Congratulations Heldt family! Wonderful, awesome news!

Julie @ Joy's Hope said...

Praying for continued strength, peace and endurance in your journey to your daughters and to their journey home to you.

Me. Us. She. said...

I'm so glad there is finally a conclusion to this long journey you've been on. So excited to hear more in the coming weeks!
Amanda

Stacey said...

Oh Brianna! I am so happy for you and your family. Blessed be the name of our Lord! I CANNOT wait to "meet" your little ones. Since reading Adeye's blog (No Greater Joy), my heart has been drawn to little ones with an extra chromosome. If only people could see how truly BEAUTIFUL these children are!!!!

I am Katy, said...

YAY! Congrats! What a beautiful story of God's love, perfect timing, and provision.

Paige said...

What wonderful news! I can't wait to see pictures of these sweet girls. Praying that you can bring them home really soon!

Karen said...

Congrats! Your family just gets better by the day! What a blessing to all, myself included. It's amazing the ways our hearts are led. Who new, years ago, the fullness your lives would have? Can't wait to meet them!

Shana said...

Congratulations again! I am so excited to follow along with you guys on this journey. God bless!

From Diapers To Dorms said...

Congratulations to all of you. I had a feeling this might be the way you were headed. I am feeling the same tugging myself. Thanks for sharing a bit of your lives and your hearts with your readers. Many blessings!

AndreaB said...

I don't know if I've ever commented, but I've been following your blog for years. I'm so excited for your family! Downs children are some of the most precious children on Earth! They are truly special children, and they have such a sweet spirit about them. I nanny a 4 year old girl with down syndrome, and her parents started a foundation here in Utah for parents of children with special needs. They had their annual halloween party last night, and it was such a great experience getting to be around so many amazing children with down syndrome (and other special needs). You are so right though, your girls will learn to do amazing things, but just at their own pace =]

Congrats! Can't wait to hear more about them!

PS: Can you say how old they are? I know you said M is about 3ish...can you say how old T is?

Betty said...

Brianna,

I can't tell you how impressed and excited I am with you both and with our great and surprising Father! I feel blessed to know you all and am thrilled that He is bringing these two "fearfully and wonderfully made" girls into your family and our community. Trusting Him with and for you all!

B.J.

Cindy said...

Just beautiful Brianna. I am so excited for your family!

Tiffany said...

How COOL! Isn't God AMAZING!?!?! I have chills!! Do you mind if I link this entry up to my new blog and it's Facebook page? www.superdownsy.blogspot.com
(It's Facebook page has a hyperlink badge on the sidebar.)

PLease email if this is okay!! My oldest girl has Down Syndrome. I cannot tell you enough what a blessing she has been. I would be thrilled to answer any questions I can if you want.
underwater9800 at yahoo dot com

congratulations!!!

Heather Hernandez said...

Hey Brianna! You guys have enormous hearts :) I am so inspired by your story! I am excited for you all and so happy to hear how delighted your children are to welcome new siblings into the family :)

There is a little boy in my class who has Down's Syndrome. We have an inclusive classroom, and to be honest, I was a little skeptical that he'd fit in. He is 3, and right now he still can't walk or speak. But when you see his face light up, or when he responds to something voluntarily, when he showed me his gastro tube, and when he stood up for the very first time in a circle of his peers cheering him on, my heart felt so full. There are other kids with Down's at my school, same age, and they can walk -- all of then will learn, though. I've seen other kids for whom I have less confidence for their future due to severe disability that will not improve with time, which is heartbreaking. We can all wish for a miracle, of course, but in the absence of that, their lives will be a constant challenge. But Down's is not really a DISability. Sure, there are some limitations, But these girls, with the foundation of a loving family such as yours, are absolutely going to live a very normal life. Their existence is a blessing -- I am learning this every day that I spend with the child in my class :) You guys will do awesome!

Very good news indeed!!!

Brenda Williams said...

Congratulations you guys!
Love the way you show God's love!

Joanie said...

Okay, Brianna and Fam, I'm back because I just had to say that I was at the Dr's office today and saw the sweetest little baby in ruffle-bottom jammies. She has Down's and I got so excited thinking of the little outfits your girls will have and the way they'll be cared for in ways they never dreamed! She was really young, but said "Hi!" back to me just proving what you were saying about their development. Precious babies. I can't wait to see your pictures!

Priscilla said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! How wonderful to even have people who have met your girls!! I am not surprised at the abortion statistic - we were pretty suspicious when no DS babies were available when we were foster parents even 14 years ago. - sad but true!! These girls are blessed and pure blessings. God is good ALL THE TIME!!

Mr and Mrs Lorentzon said...

Wow! Just, wow! I am thankful to God for your family. SO looking forward to continuing to follow your blog!!!!!

thevickerys said...

Congratulations on your 2 new daughters! I have been following your story and struggles over the last few months and I am so pleased to hear a happy ending! Enjoy Ethiopia again, I love love love that country and hope to return there one day! Will you be taking the whole family with you when you go? xxx

Kristen Borland said...

oh brianna, you know i LOVE this. i'm so excited for you guys. you know my heart for children with down syndrome, and you know all about our sweet amanda. i praise the Lord that He brought you guys here and that He will walk every step with you, carrying you when necessary. this is so beautiful.

darci said...

oh wow brianna! i am so so excited for you! I sat here with tears running down my cheeks reading this (I love that blog, too...). What happens when we just say "whatever You want" to God? wow! Can't wait to hear more. Praying for you as you wait to bring your two newest precious treasures HOME! darci :)

Emily B. said...

So exciting! I can't wait to see pics of your beautiful girls!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to be the voice of reason here... adopting kids with down syndrome is an amazing thing to do, but it would also not only be a HUGE change to your lives raising these girls, but a huge change to the lives of your older children in the future.

It is highly unlikely that kids with down syndrome will be independent as adults, and your older children will be responsible for taking care of their siblings after you're gone.

Have you talked to any siblings of adults with down syndrome? I know one, and while she loves her sister, she is incredibly resentful of the level of responsibility that caring for an adult with down syndrome requires, which is something that she DIDN'T CHOOSE.

Please think of the future for not only yourself and your husband, but also of your other children.

Lizzard said...

Congratulations!! :)

Ginger said...

Why does it not surprise me that someone making a negative comment would do so anonymously? If you are going to write something like that, then stand behind it by name! I could say a lot in response to anonymous, but I'll bite my tongue for the most part & instead I'll just say...THANK GOD there are families who CHOOSE LIFE (that's bio AND adoptive families) for children with downs (& other special needs)...families who don't worry about the fact that it won't always be easy, families who don't worry about whether or not their other children will be resentful at times of that choice, families who know that the rewards and love that come from raising special needs children far outweigh the "burdeons" of caring for them or even the risk of losing them too soon. I'm blessed to know many such families who don't wast time worrying about all the what-ifs & instead just take the leap of faith to choose life for & go on to love and care for special children that are just as deserving and needing of the love and care of a family, as all children are.

wendy said...

A very huge congratulations to your family! :-)

rachel said...

Your family is so amazing, I am so happy for you all & I am excited for your story to unfold! Congratulations!!!

Leslie said...

Congratulations, Brianna! What a hard process this has been. I'm praying for those special sisters in Ethiopia, and for you guys as you embrace this joyful and new parenting adventure. What a blessing.

shell said...

love it love it! congrats! can't wait to follow your journey!

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Wow! So excited for you!

Just popped over here from Lisa's blog, and look forward to reading more about your BLESSED family!

I LOVED what you said about NOT looking forward to an empty nest. Oh my! I had my first 6 kids in 6 years. Everyone thought we were CRAZY! (which we were) But, we didn't stop at "only 6".

Those first 6 are now all young adults ... they've flown the nest ... traveled the world ... gone off to college. But, my nest is not empty. No. We didn't stop at "just 6". We had 6 more.

Yes. I have a dozen children (ages 8 - 26), and I wouldn't want it any other way. All of our peers are celebrating their empty nests, and I am LOVING my days at home ... homeschooling these 6. (Yes. I've homeschooled for 20+ years.)

As a twenty-something ... please don't say, "These are our last." No. Please allow the Lord to decide the size of your family. He has a plan. My last bio. baby was born the day before I turned 40. Then, a few years later, we brought home a couple of Ghanaian beauties. Now ... we are hoping for grandchildren in the next few years. :)

Be BLESSED!

(And do NOT worry for 1 minute about the "wisdom" of the anonymous commenter. So sad that it is always "anonymous" that has the concerns, but won't show their face.)


Laurel
mama of a dozen

Andrea H. said...

I am so so thrilled for your family too. What a beautiful story. I clicked on Lisa's link to look for your post. Wow, even though we are in the same positive group and share Lisa as a friend I have never really started looking at your blog. I think I am missing out and need to put it on my blog roll. I LOVED so much that you didn't just go for one but two DS. Also, don't worry about them living with you as adults. My oldest daughter is 24and has Austism and several other diagnosis and probably will always live with us.

kayder1996 said...

Just popped over from One thankful mom/a bushel and a peck as she was sharing your story on her blog. What a beautiful, only God could dream this up story! Our adoption stories are a lot like that as well, as we pursued domestic, then foster adoption, then international adoption. It took us over 4 years from the time we said we would adopt until we brought our son home from Haiti and along that road we had many of those "now what God" moments. Frustrating on so many levels. But I think those moments are also "on the brink" moments, moments where we are on the brink of seeing God do something that is completely God sized and absolutely bigger than what I could dream of. I'm pretty sure you know that the road ahead won't be easy and that even trying to predict what it might look like is an impossiblity. There are always hard times as you parent and adoption brings its own special needs. May God provide you with the wisdom, patience, and resources you need to raise your family.

Amy Bottomly said...

Amazing! Congratulations!!!!

The Barr Family said...

So Happy for you- a wee bit selfishly sad for me because had things turned out differently I would have gotten to see more of you from time to time. But I love how this grew in your heart and the path that lead you to your daughters. I know you will receive so much Joy from your new girls. I look forward to meeting them one day and I am honored to know you. I love how you just are ok with adult kids living with you because not everyone is in that place - some don't have a choice- but would never change their circumstances- but you have chosen these girls and its beautiful.

lisa said...

Wow! What a journey God has your family on! I am so inspired by your love and your heart for God, children, families and orphans! I'm very excited for you!!!! I will be praying for court dates and all that jazz.

 

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