“On any given day in the U.S., more than 423,000 children are in the foster care system, and nearly 115,000 of them are available for adoption, just waiting for the right family to find them.” (Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption)
This week held one of the most joyful experiences I have ever been privileged to share. One of my dear friends and his wife adopted three beautiful children and I joined them at the courthouse in their county to be part of the proceedings and celebration that followed. Although I have many friends who have adopted children or are adopted children themselves, this was my first experience in the court room.
With cameras snapping, people smiling, and legal decisions enacted, these three children went in as wards of the state and came out with a mom, dad, permanent home, and a bright future before them. It struck me that the children had no idea what an incredible turn their lives had taken in that moment before a judge. They had been in foster care since they were mere babies, and moved around as a sibling group until this couple’s hearts opened to make their home the final stop for the two sisters and one brother.
My greatest joy was seeing the accumulation of answered prayers over decades come together in this one moment. I will change the name for privacy’s sake. I had known J. Allen since college days over thirty years ago. We had become friends, as close as two friends can be at a distance. I had prayed faithfully for him over the years in his career choices, his dating relationships, his marriage to Belinda, and even his choice of a house. He truly wanted to be a dad and in my spirit I could hear the patter of feet running through their home and the sound of children’s laughter.
Deciding to become foster parents was not an easy decision for this couple. They knew they wanted to work with sibling groups, but not having been natural parents, they didn’t know what challenges awaited. At one time each they had a group of three, a group of two brothers, a group of five siblings, and a group of four. In some cases they provided a home for the holiday, a safe place while the children were in transition, and then these children came into their care who were eligible for adoption. Even though it wasn’t love at first sight, love grew between all of them until they were a real family.
Court documents were the only thing remaining to make it legal, binding and official. For better or worse (as in every family), they belong together, bound at the heart forever.
Belinda shared her awe in the situation. She said that God had allowed her to see the events of their lives from His perspective – the “big” view up to this point. Had the two of them met sooner, fallen in love sooner, or married sooner, their decisions would have been different in a different time and place. Had they met later, they wouldn’t have been married or owned a house spacious enough for the addition of three children at once. These children came into the foster care system at a time when she and her husband’s hearts were already prepared to receive them. They became eligible for adoption while they were already placed in their home.
God’s timing is perfect. We may not be able to see the big picture from where we are standing, but God always sees it. He knows what must come before to usher us into the right place in the right time for His divine purpose in our lives, and the open door(s) of opportunity that we will take. Never early, and never late, God’s provision comes when we need it, His guidance is available when we ask for it, and if we only ask – He will direct our paths.
I have often seen the hand of God working in people’s lives, but perhaps never more obvious than the adoption celebration I was allowed to share in this week.
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.