In the fall of 2010 our family of six grew into a family of eight. This blog is about our journey together as we go through the adoption process and the daily activities we share. If you read on you will have a front row into our laughing, loving, sharing, crying, praying, learning, and loud family!
Our adoption story started 37 years ago when my husband Brandon was adopted by loving Christian parents. He was raised with a positive view of adoption and now as an adult and father understands the impact that being adopted had on his life; he knows that he would not be the person that he is today had his parents not lovingly taken him in as their own.
As a child my heart was turned towards adoption as I would pray at night that God would change my parents' heart and we would adopt a little girl. I desperately wanted a sister and my mom told me that unless God placed one at our doorstep it would not happen, so that is what I prayed for. My prayers for the orphan continued as I grew up and got married and started having children of my own. After the third boy in 2007, I told my husband that I thought that God kept giving us sons because the little girl that he has for us is going to come through adoption. Adoption became a regular word in our home, partly due to some close friends that were adopting and other "stirrings" that were happening in my quiet times. At this point Brandon was very excited for our friends, but claimed that it was not for us. In fact, it started to become a sore subject around here and I learned to not even bring it up. After about a year I finally realized that there was nothing earthly possible that I would be able to do or say that would change his mind (or his heart).
In the fall of 2008 we were raising three beautiful sons and I asked Brandon again if he would consider praying for God's heart for adoption and if it would be right for our family. I knew that through nagging he would only be pushed away from the idea even more, so I decided that prayer would be the best tactic. He agreed to pray for an entire year about adoption (secretly he was praying that God would get this idea out of my head so that we could go back to our 'normal' life, yet at the same time, he was trying to be open to the holy spirit). As he prayed, I did too. I loved my husband and my boys and I did not want to selfishly do something that would forever alter our family dynamic. I knew that if Brandon wasn't "all-in" it was something that I would not push. I trusted him as the leader of our family and I respected him enough to let his final decision be final, as much as I knew it might break my heart. I prayed that God would turn his heart towards adoption, and if it was not meant to be, I also prayed that God would take this desire from me, or show me what else I was to pursue with my passion for orphans. (Looking back on the timeline now I can see that this is the exact time that our son Holden was born and entered the foster care system. I was praying for a child that I didn't even know existed. I truly believe that the holy spirit had awakened my passion to pray for this child who would someday be mine).
The silent prayers went on for about a year. Then in the fall of 2009 on my 31st birthday I was 9 months pregnant with our 4th son Huxton Truth (who was born a week later). Due to my size and comfort level my desires to celebrate my birthday were to do NOTHING. As Brandon and I were sitting on the couch he told me he had some news. I had no clue what was about to come out of his mouth. With teary eyes he told me that God had not let the adoption subject drop. In truth, he had been upholding his end of the deal by praying, but instead of the subject fleeing, he found his heart softening. I responded calmly as I didn't want to overdo the shouts of joy that wanted to escape. I just smiled. Obviously at 9 months pregnant the last thing I wanted to think about was another baby, but as I sat there I knew that God's plan was bigger than I could comprehend.
When Huck was 4 months old we talked about which direction we thought we should go on the adoption road. A lot of time was saved because I was able to pull out my secret adoption packets stash and we sifted through the mounds of information quickly. With all of the options out there, we decided that the fost-adopt program through the state would be the best option for our family. Truthfully, this was the last option on my list. I had many other thoughts of how I wanted to adopt our children and for many reasons this was not my first choice on how it would be done. But I knew it was right. I just kept hearing a quiet voice saying 'trust me...' At the end of January of 2010 I found myself wandering into a Christian adoption agency and picking up a packet. We started the "paper-pregnancy" and classes immediately; I sat there and nursed Baby Huck as we learned vocabulary that we had never used before. We began to learn about post traumatic stress, birth parents, addictions, reaction attachment disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, failure to thrive, and on and on. Surprisingly, we were not scared away. We knew that God had brought us to this, and we trusted Him to bring us and our family through it. 6 months later in July 2010 (unbeknownst to us, the same month that Hope was born) we became licensed foster parents and the waiting season began. On November 1, 2010 we brought Holden (at the time age 2 yrs old) and Hope (3 mos old) to their forever home as we welcomed them into our family and adopted them as our own.
One year later in November of 2011, Holden Justice was legally adopted into our family, and two months later in January of 2012 Hope Carisse also became a legally adopted Lang.