Today I want to tell you the story of how Ian and I went from two to three. For those of you who have been around for awhile, who know us personally, or who have followed my previous blog you’ve heard the story before…but hopefully reading it again won’t be boring…because it’s really quite an amazing story…I thought about just copying and pasting from my old blog…but I wrote that when Andrew had been with us for 6 months…now it’s been almost 3 years…so it’s time for a rewrite!
Andrew is our first child…and currently only, but hopefully not for long…and he came to us when he was 12 years old. It’s an incredible story! It’s incredibly sad and incredibly painful and at the same time so incredibly full of hope. He came to us through great loss, and at 15 my boy has been marked by grief unlike most adults I know. But God orchestrated our story in a way that demonstrated to all three of us His goodness, His ability to reach through pain and grief and death…through all the horrors of this sinful and fallen world actually…and provide comfort and bring new life and just absolutely transform something awful into something great.
This story begins with grief, with life in an orphanage, and then with great joy as an incredible single woman chose him, loved him, and gave him her name. For 12 years she raised him, even retiring early to spend all her time with him…she truly adored the child she had chosen. And then she got sick and in the moments after being hit with the news of the severity of her illness she picked up and made a phone call to find this child she loved a family.
My story…at least this part of the story…also beings in an orphanage and with a moment holding a little girl that changed my life. I was a teenager and I suddenly realized that having two parents…and ones that loved me and cared for me and sacrificed for me…was an incredible gift that not every child on earth has. Something happened in my heart in that moment and suddenly I wanted to be a mom…specifically a mom to children who need a mom. Because having loving parents shouldn’t be a privilege…it’s just what’s right!
Years…decades…later I met a man who felt the same way, and so when we became us adoption wasn’t a question of if but when.
Two years in we felt the Lord stirring our hearts that the time had come. We began praying with a group of friends, taking parenting classes, and preparing our home and finances for a child. Our heart was to adopt an older child. We started praying at 6, and then the number kept getting higher and then for some reason we both started praying about adopting a 12 year old…I thought I was crazy, who adopts a 12 year old as their first child…but we just prayed and trusted God. Then one by one everyone in our prayer group began praying for our boy…I’m still not sure how it happened, but slowly the vague child in all our hearts and prayers became a 12 year old boy.
Nine months later, that’s exactly what we got…seriously though, not even kidding, nine months later a 12 year old moved into our home.
Those nine months were some of the most discouraging I have ever faced, but they grew in me a trust in the Lord like I had never had before. Proverbs 13:12 would just repeat through my mind…Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life…my heart was sick and it literally hurt to wait for him. When I turned to Ian with my discouragement he would tell me “It’ll happen when it’s time, we don’t need to try to make this happen.”
AHHHHHHH….does he not understand how adoption works?!?!?! It doesn’t just happen, children don’t just fall into your lap, you have to make it happen.
Yet, it seems that sometimes that’s exactly how it works.
One Wednesday morning I received the heartbreaking news that the mother of one of my students was dying, and that she had called the school principal to ask for help in finding him a new family, a family that would raise him to know Jesus, a family with a godly father…oh yeah, and he was 12.
As I listened it to the story it seemed that time stopped and a million things ran through my mind at once. It was like all these different pieces of my life, the challenges we had been experiencing in finishing our paperwork, the things we had been praying about, holding that little girl when I was 16…they all made sense in an instant.
And I knew.
I walked away overwhelmed, a 12 year old boy in need of a family had just come into our lives…actually he didn’t just come into our lives, he was already in our lives. When Ian walked into the room…he had heard the news separately…I’m honestly not even sure if we talked. If we did, we didn’t say much. We both knew that this was what God had been preparing us for. We were supposed to open our home to Andrew. It would either be for a season while his mother was healed and restored, or it would be forever, but either way it was what we were supposed to do.
That day, the way we responded, it was such a bizarre experience. I don’t know if I can even really explain it. It was more of an instinct or reaction than a decision. The Lord had been preparing us and leading us, so when it happened we just moved.
The next several days were surreal.
When we met with Andrew’s mom, her trust in the Lord’s plan for her son, and her trust in us were so incredibly humbling. She was the first person to call us mom and dad…she chose us. I am so overwhelmed by the selflessness and faith of this woman, she wanted him to start staying with us immediately.
She passed into heaven just a few short months later. A few months after that, he became a Dizon as the adoption was finalized.
Now he’s 15. And this summer has been a big season of change, and loss, and grief again. I started thinking about his story, and how incredible it is that God made His hand so obvious in it. We remind Andrew of this from time to time…because we believe that there will come times/seasons/moments in his life that he will need to know very clearly that God brought us together as a family, that God provided home for him not once but twice.
But in writing this something else has struck me…I need to know.
Because, I don’t feel capable of this…of mothering a teenager, of loving him, of encouraging and disciplining him. It’s been a hard summer, and I feel like a failure! But God brought us together, He chose us to be a family, He chose me to be Andrew’s mom.
That’s a reminder I needed today.
***Quick Frippery House update***
I have a launch date! Hashing some last details out