On February 28th fourteen years ago our lives forever changed and turned upside down. We had been married almost 8 years by that point and there was no hope of ever having children. At least in my mind anyway. I had kind of resigned myself to that by that point. Certainly we were happy on our own, but in my heart of hearts, I longed for children. I had spent years running a daycare and caring for other people’s kids, but I wanted children of my own.
It wasn’t supposed to happen the way it did. The CAS had told us from the beginning, when we first started fostering that they would never place children under the age of 6 in our home. We would get attached. We wouldn’t want to send them back to their parents…blah, blah, blah. They were absolutely right of course. But God had another plan. He is so good! He had another purpose. Those things thought once thought impossible, were made possible. Because with God nothing is impossible. Where once there was no hope, he brought hope. There was an emergency. And on that day fourteen years ago, two toddlers in desperate need of a place to live, walked into our home. Ben…a rough and tumble, accident prone, almost three year old blue eyed boy with curly blonde hair and his spunky eighteen month old little sister Elisa . On that day we became a family of four overnight. A few short months later their older, fiesty brother Jacob moved in and we became a family of 5.
Most people reading this know our story. A lot of people will remember when it began. (Our church family in Essex Ontario for example.) If you are not familiar with our story , you can read about it here..
The years have gone by crazy fast. At some point they just seemed to blend into one another and before we know it another year has gone by. It has not always been easy. This journey has had its shares of ups and downs, joys, tears and heartaches. It’s been complete chaos at times. But through it all, love remains. There is nothing that these kids do that will change or cancel out our love for them. Nothing. We have not been perfect parents by any stretch of the imagination. We have made our share mistakes for sure and there have been many times where I have felt insecure about my abilities to parent, and I have at times felt like a failure as a mom, but all in all we have always tried to steer their hearts towards the Lord.
They are all at the age now where we cannot fight their battles. I want to. It is hard to sit back and watch when everything within me is crying out to respond. Step in. Punch someone in the nose. And by someone, I don’t mean my kids. It’s painful to see them hurting over a wrong choice made and it hurts if they have been wronged. We can try to direct them, or offer our two cents, but ultimately the choice is theirs.
It’s hard to imagine what our life was like before these three entered our lives, and it is equally hard to imagine what life will be like when they all have moved out. We have already begun the empty nest proccess. Our oldest Jacob has already moved out and on with his life in Canada. How we miss him. We want to slow down time. Hit the pause button somehow. In just two and a half years, all three of our kids will be in Canada beginning their college education or careers. And then in the blink of an eye, it will go back to being just the two of us. I’m not sure my heart is ready for that…