I have a secret we’ve been keeping.  We’re expecting.  Our family is in the process of adopting!

“How long have you been thinking about adoption?” That’s a question I hear often and one that I can’t answer definitively. As a child, my 2 favorite movies were Annie and The Rescuers—redemption and restoration—those stories captured a deep place within my heart. But there were also times that adoption was on the forefront of my mind. I remember when Charlie and I lost our first daughter, Elise, and the feelings of adoption surfaced once again. A friend encouraged me that this was not the time to pursue adoption; it was the time to pursue healing. I knew she was right.

Years passed and we had our own children. Then my kids lost their father and I started to see things differently. I remember thinking about how it felt from their perspective to live life without a “daddy”. My heart broke for them. Then God brought Dan. At first I argued with God. His timing seemed crazy.  God settled me, and the realization came, “All kids need a mom and a dad. My kids need a dad more now than ever before.” It was another reminder of adoption.

I started praying. When Dan and I got married I told him that I really didn’t think I was finished having children. I was not implying pregnancy. I told him about my desire to adopt. He wasn’t ready yet. And so I waited and prayed and prayed and waited. I knew this had to be the right step for our family and not just my idea.

Dan prayed too and God spoke to his heart. In December 2013 we signed up to attend an informational meeting at a local adoption agency. The day of the meeting came and I was excited. These years of waiting were making the minutes feel endless. I checked the clock frequently hoping it was time to leave. Then my mom called and everything changed. “Marie, your dad has been rushed to the hospital.” He was experiencing complications due to lung cancer. His situation was grave. This would be his last hospital stay. For a while we weren’t sure that he would come home, it looked like he would die there. Our conversations were serious and emotional. I spent as much time with him as possible. And I told him that we were thinking of adopting. He looked surprised. I said, “Not a puppy Dad, a child.” I wanted to make him laugh a little. And I wanted him to know about our adoption because I knew he wouldn’t be here to meet this child.

My dad died on Dec. 24, 2013. I understood what it felt like to be fatherless and my heart broke again for the children who know this loss too.

Our adoption journey had a million little twists and turns before it “officially” began, but I’m thrilled to share that we’re almost ready to send off our dossier.   We are adopting from South Africa, and we hope to bring our child home this summer.

For now, this is all I’ll share, but there is more—SO MUCH MORE. God is writing a beautiful story across our lives and he is weaving in the life of a child we’ve not met yet, but deeply love.

God places the lonely in families. Psalm 68:6