It was first placed on my heart the Summer after my eighth grade year and laid dormant until after the birth of my third child. The desire then became so strong it was impossible to ignore. My husband though, had become an instant dad to my older two children, adopting them a year after we married and our third child came nine months from the date of our wedding. It was a huge adjustment, not just for him, but for all of us. He was certainly not ready to adopt a child.
After several months of talking to him about it and getting nowhere, I decided to just pray. I truly believed God meant for us to adopt and instead of trying to make it happen myself, I turned that desire over to the Lord. After two years of praying, Ty finally said he felt the Lord might be leading us that way.
We initially felt we would adopt from oversees. That had always been my hope. The books I read about adoption were all about oversees adoption and my heart was really for Africa. We had several friends adopt over the years and I would watch their “gotcha videos” and weep and long for that experience. I still cry over those videos. I wanted so much to bring an orphan home. I wanted to have that moment of meeting my child for the first time with excitement and a full heart knowing he or she was home forever.
Over time, God closed most of the doors for us oversees and began whispering to us about foster care. When we finally decided to be foster parents. God was not only calling us to a child, but to a family and more specifically a birth mom. When I first saw Isaiah I felt a deep sadness for him because when you’re a mom, you know there is something tragically wrong with an infant who isn’t with his mother. God was gracious to me through our journey with Isaiah, giving me so much love for his birth mom and carrying me through the unknown with the hope of the gospel. God did intend for us to adopt, and over two years after he came to us, we were able to bring him into our family as our son. He is home forever.
To say this child has brought us joy would be a complete understatement. When I look at him, I can’t believe he’s ours. He embodies the word ‘sweet’ like nobody else I’ve ever met. His name, Isaiah Malachi, means “messenger of God’s salvation.” I have prayed since he was born that God would use him as a messenger of his salvation to his birth family. At the time I began praying, I meant it for his mom. I realized just a month ago that he has already answered that prayer. We are still fostering and are in the process of adopting Isaiah’s little sister Maggie whom we have fostered since she was born. We are also fostering his newest baby sister Millie. If not for Isaiah, they would not be with us. The same is true for his oldest sister Rosie. Though she doesn’t live with us, she was introduced to Jesus for the first time, through our family.
We have been in the fostering process for three and a half years. When your life is in constant limbo, you long for finality. Our adoption of Isaiah was a happy day, but it was hard to feel the finality because we were still in process for another. Over the years, even as we have continued to foster, I have had moments of grieving that “gotcha moment,” but I have come to see that I get those gotcha moments every single day. When I see Isaiah’s sweet face, or hear his laugh. When he tells me he loves me a thousand times and when he says or does something precious, I am overcome with gratefulness that he is mine.