At the time we began the practical steps to adoption, we had six-year-old and three-year-old biological sons, and we felt that it was a good time to get started. I told Gilbert more than once that I didn’t want to be one of those parents who was raising two rounds of kids, so if we were going to do this, we should get things going, so we began paperwork as soon as possible. When asked to think about the types of situations we would consider, we marked would consider? on every blank?any race, any gender, exposure to any substance, any special needs. We deeply wanted God to use us exactly how we wanted. However, the box we checked that made us the most anxious was the one related to special needs. We felt protective of our boys, and we were nervous about choosing to put our family in a position that would turn their lives upside down in ways other than the normal ways welcoming a baby does. So although we wanted to be open to God’s plan for us, we were most cautious about this type of situation.
But six months after our failed match, we received news about a baby to be born with Down Syndrome. As I read about this baby, my heart raced, and it occurred to me that God might be calling me to parent a child with Down Syndrome. So I went to Gilbert and shared my heart. He heard me, but I’m not sure he was quite where I was at the time. Turns out, this specific situation was not the one for us, and months went by that allowed me to decide that I had read too much into my racing heart that day. But this past July, Susan sent us word of a baby girl to be born in August?a baby who had been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. And we were a little more ready this time and a little less caught off-guard, so after a little time thinking and studying and praying, we knew that we should say yes. And finally, three years into our journey and 15 months after our failed match, we got the call that we were matched again. We were nervous and excited at the same time, but mostly excited. We spent the next few weeks (quietly this time) preparing for this little one, cautiously optimistic about the chance we might have to bring her home, and trusting God to equip us for the journey.
Now, finally, I can look back and see the answer to the question that had made my heart ache. If God truly called us to adoption, why did he make us wait so long? Why didn’t He wait to call us until He was ready for us? We had watched our little boys turn into big boys while we waited. But now we know. He knew it all along, but we couldn’t know. We weren’t waiting for Him to be ready for us. He was waiting for us to be ready for Him. We had wanted desperately to be open to whatever he wanted for us, but we hadn’t quite been where he needed us to be. So he used that time, our long wait, to shape our hearts for parenting this one perfect sweet girl. And we are so, so thankful that we kept saying yes in the midst of the heartache and the painful wait, because we didn’t know that we were just giving him time to grow our family the way He wanted to.
And already we can’t imagine our lives without her.