On a mild fall day in October of 2011, life was what we consider normal at our house. Our house is inhabited by two “older” parents, our 22 year old son, Daniel, our 17 1/2 year old daughter, Alexandra, a crazy chocolate lab, Molly, and two crazier Westies, Jaxon and Dexter. Oh… can’t forget the 3 indoor cats living here too. Normal is anything but, at our house!
The following day the storm hit. Not a natural storm with thunder and lightning and sheets of rain, but a storm of shock, followed by excitement, and then craziness beyond what our normal craziness is.
Let me back up just a bit. My name is Julie, and my husband is Ron. We are what others consider “older” parents. I gave birth to Alexandra when I was 40 years and 12 days old. Ron was 55 and several months. 🙂 She’s now 17 1/2 so you do the math. When we got married in 1989, Ron had two grown children, and two granddaughters. He inherited 2 more children, mine, from a previous marriage, ages 5 and 8. They are now 28 and 31 and living on their own. We then added two of our own, Daniel and Alexandra. Throughout our marriage we discussed adopting many times but, never really pursued it. The time never seemed right. Our house was too small, money too tight; a long list of reasons… And then that fall storm hit last in October.
I brought up adoption again, wistfully mentioning how I wished we’d looked into it further. Several days later, Ron told me “We are probably too old, but why don’t you check it out.” I looked at him in disbelief! It didn’t take me long to get on the computer to start researching agencies, and emailing a few of them. The next morning I had an email from one of the agencies saying we were not too old to adopt, and should not give up our dream of adding to our family! More shock as I absorbed that information!
The following Sunday at church we both noticed in the bulletin that our church was sponsoring “Orphan Sunday” and beginning a new ministry to support adoption and adoptive parents. A new 6 week class beginning in early November. We both heard God calling us, but we were still hesitant. We prayed, a LOT, talked to a few more agencies, talked to a social worker about the home study. Prayed more. And God started shouting at us, “Hurry up, you’re not getting any younger!” Did I mention I am 57 and my husband is 72? We heard the shouting, but I guess we weren’t listening. We both prayed together and alone, and mid-November, we finally heard God’s shouting, finally listened close enough to realize what He was saying. We contacted the first agency we’d received the email from that first morning and moved forward. Our application was sent off within a few days and another application filed with the agency that would complete the home study. We had our first appointment with the social worker on December 13th, and our normal chaos became overwhelming chaos as we focused on “the paperwork” and the upcoming holidays.
I didn’t sleep for what seems like days and days! As I gathered documents, filled out forms, wrote my autobiography, soul searched my motivation to adopt, typed up my husband’s paperwork (not an easy task when he has trouble reading his own handwriting!), shopped for Christmas gifts, spent a day on the phone with the airlines correcting my oldest daughters “home for Christmas” flight, wrapped gifts, shopped for food, etc., etc. With God’s help, we finished filling out the home study paperwork the week before Christmas. A storm…
In the midst of that storm, we found two special angels on the Reese’s Rainbow website that stole our hearts. Two little girls, sisters, who need a mommy and a daddy, and a forever family with brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews. We are sure these are the children God has planned for us. We filed the paperwork with the ministry last week to be approved as their new family, and now we wait… Wait for the approval, wait for last two background checks to arrive, wait for the home study to be completed and sent for approval, wait for the fingerprint appointment with USCIS. If all goes well, the wait will end in September when we will bring our angels home.