If you had told me years ago that I would have twelve children, I doubt I would have believed you. But God’s plans are so much bigger than mine.
My husband, Russ, and I recently celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary. We married in college and began our family a few years later. We loved children and believed they were a blessing. A big family sounded good; maybe we would have six kids, although that might be excessive. We were blessed to have those six and then we added one more in 2002.
Life was full, sometimes chaotic, and very good. While my husband taught university students, I taught our kids at home. Some days it felt like too much, but most days I knew I was doing exactly what I was called to do.
In 2006 I felt the Lord was starting something new in my life.
I thought I would go to graduate school. Then a dear friend called to tell me she and her husband were adopting two little boys from Ethiopia. Something shifted in my heart as my eyes were opened to the orphan crisis.
We were not perfect parents, but we were good parents who loved our children and loved Jesus. We had something beautiful and wanted to share it with children who needed a family.
After months of filling out paperwork, being interviewed, having our home inspected, and jumping through many hoops, we were approved to adopt two little boys. We were also sponsoring a little girl at an orphanage for children living with HIV and were stunned when we learned the staff at her orphanage were hoping we would adopt her. We had no idea it was even possible.
Our carefully thought out plan of adopting two little boys was shifting. We learned all we could about HIV. Soon we found ourselves adopting three unrelated children through two different agencies simultaneously.