I don’t have many regrets in life. In fact, there are only 2 that I can think of. The first was the decision to walk down my driveway to the waiting school bus on a spring day during my 6th grade year. Long story short, we were supposed to have field day that day, which by all accounts was the Mecca of the end of the school year. I had my game face on the night before, and was ready to win…….that coveted third or fourth place ribbon! Whatever. That’s neither here nor there.
Then it rained all night, the night before. The next day I found out that field day had been cancelled and they were excusing the absence of any kid who did not want to come to school and watch Disney movies all day. The problem was that I found this out after I had boarded the school bus! Regret.
My second regret was that we did not make wiser choices with our money earlier in our married life. Every time Dave Ramsey uses that Ben and Arthur example in Financial Peace University, I die a little inside! Regret.
However, the one regret I’m glad I will never have is how our family came to be.
My 2 Best Decisions.
The first best decision we made was the decision to get married. This will always be the best decision because without the two of us, there would be no, well…us! We started this whole adventure. Really, it was Kristin who started this whole adventure. She wanted to build our family through adoption. I resisted. In fact, this was one of the biggest arguments we had in the beginning, before we got married. I grew up in a family who had children the old-fashioned way and she grew up with adoption. Her youngest brother was adopted from Bulgaria.
It wasn’t that I was against adoption, I just didn’t understand it. Thankfully, my heart changed. It wasn’t that Kristin won and I lost in this epic battle over how to build a family; it really was a heart-change. Through a series of unexpected events, and encounters with adoptive parents, God changed my heart. And that leads me to the second best decision we ever made.
In early January, 2002, we began the process of filling out paperwork to be adoptive parents. I was still a little apprehensive. Okay, not true. I was extremely apprehensive. You might even say ‘in denial.’ In my mind we were still going to have children biologically. It was what I had dreamed of, expected, even prayed about. God had other plans. He interrupted mine and began scripting a story more beautiful than anything I could have created.
In March of that year, through Adoption Support Center in Indianapolis, a birth mother chose us to adopt her baby. Less than 2 months later, on April 27th, 2002 at 2:02 pm, our daughter Jaala entered the world and changed our lives forever.
First of all, we lost sleep, as you might imagine. We went from being 2 people who got up whenever, stayed up as late as we wanted, and traveled wherever, to 2 people who were responsible for keeping a little human being alive. We were clueless. I remember driving home from the hospital terrified. I almost asked the nurse if she could just move in with us. That would have been awkward though. I’m glad I didn’t ask her that!
I was still in denial, but God had done something amazing and He was just getting started. This tiny girl started wrapped herself around our finger and we began to learn just how deep our hearts could go. I’ve often heard it said that you learn all about your great capacity to love, when you become a parent. I can testify to that. Eight children later, my heart is overflowing!
You Have No Idea!
Truth is, way back in 1998, when Kristin and I had that big argument over how we would build our family, I had no idea what our life would look like 16 years in the future. I thought I knew. I had my plans, my ideas, and my vision, but in the end, a way more beautiful story than I could imagine had been written, and is being written.
That’s life- a story. A beautiful, epic adventure that is constantly unfolding and coming to life. You have no idea what is just around the corner. There’s no way to see a millisecond into the future. Hold on! Just wait. It will not be easy because life never is, but the future is bright and you just might be standing this side of a year, or 2, in complete amazement at the story your family is telling the world. The second best decision we ever made was the decision to adopt. It began a journey that brought 7 more beautiful children into our home.
Today, this tiny, gorgeous human being is 13 years old! I can’t believe it. When I saw her face this morning my heart skipped a beat and my eyes welled up with water. She’s growing up and I don’t want to miss one second of it. I couldn’t be more thankful for the 2 big decisions we made. They’ve changed us and they are changing the world!
Happy Birthday Jaala. Mommy and Daddy love you more than words!
In what ways have you seen a beautiful story unfold in your family? Share your story with us.