My story starts in 2006 when Mark, my husband of 16 years says “Why don’t we adopt?” Mind you, we had two boys, (13 and 15 years old) already and we were well on our way to enjoying the teenager years with them—no more potty training or sleepless nights. I was thrilled with the idea of adoption but when I asked him why he wanted to do this, he simply said, “I want God to tell me one day that I made a difference in someone’s life.”
We decided to adopt through the state, knowing these children needed the most love. We were so excited when our case worker said there were two sisters (ages 4 and 5) that needed a home. They had been bounced around nine different foster homes and they desperately needed a forever family. We had to sit the boys down and make sure they were okay with two sisters, instead of the original plan of one sister. They both agreed and we said yes.
The moment Mark and I stepped through the foster home threshold, we knew those babies were ours. They were so full of life, joy and hope even though they had been through so much in their short lives. We were able to finalize the adoption six months and one day later (you could not do it any earlier). We submerged them in total love, discipline and structure. They grew, laughed and developed their personalities. It was a tiring, thrilling, exhausting, joyful, stressful and growing year of bonding for our family. The boys were amazing! They helped clean, discipline, play and just show the girls what it meant to be part of a “family”.
The most amazing change we saw was the girls’ faith life. They came to us not knowing about God but their lives were such an example of how God was guiding them and caring for them under less than optimal conditions. My oldest daughter would frequently ask where she and her sister were in the family photos before they came to us and our standard answer was and still is “IN GOD’S HANDS”.
I firmly believe the girls were held there for us because the next part of the story is something that I never thought would happen. In May of 2008, a little over a year after the adoption my husband became ill and died within a two-week period. I was panicked now with having the task of raising four children by myself. I clung to my faith and have not ever felt alone. I know deep in my heart that God inspired Mark that day so that I could continue without him. Some days are still tough but I know that our family will always be “IN GOD’ HANDS”.