The night before we met our children, we traveled three hours north to prepare. Part of preparing for our meeting was preparing a backpack full of activities for the girls, special photo albums of us and our live, and a special stuffed animal for each of the girls.
God’s plan is always so interesting to watch unfold and such a huge blessing. I often found my breath taken away as another one of His miracles, whether big or small, was revealed. Luke and I had no idea that we would be preparing to bring home children so quickly, so many, or from so far away. We saved and prepared our home as much as we could for two children, not knowing their ages. Our family and friends blessed us with a gift card shower.
Now, traveling once to a location a few hours away would be no big deal, right? But that is not what we were doing. The social workers came up with a four-week plan to transition the girls to our home. It was made very clear that the more time we spent with them the easier the transition would be. They wanted us there on the weekends and during the week, increasing each stay as we went along. During our classes, we learned if our children were from out of the county, there would be traveling involved and a period of transition. I don’t think we imagined it would mean a month of traveling, though.
This meant that we needed a place to stay on and off for the next few weeks. First, we looked into staying at a hotel. The area wasn’t great, and the decent hotels were pretty outrageous in price, at least for stays up to four days at a time. I began to panic. Ya know, I sometimes wonder what God’s reaction is to my panic and worry. Does He laugh? Shake His head? Get frustrated as I imagine I would, or does He repeatedly whisper, “My dear sweet daughter, I have this under control.”?
Luke and I were both unfamiliar with the area, so we didn’t immediately realize that his aunt and uncle lived 45 minutes away from where the girls were. His aunt and uncle live in a beautiful home that just happens to have a full one bedroom apartment attached to it. They were more than happy to let us use it as we saw fit for the next 3ish weeks.
It was a huge blessing, especially for me, as I have a habit of being quite terrified of hotels. Bugs. Yuck. Luke doesn’t put any of our luggage down when we travel until I have thoroughly inspected the hotel room, because my anxiety is on high alert. So, having this apartment was a HUGE financial saving grace. It helped me not to freak out over bugs. It also meant we didn’t have to check-in and out of hotels for three weeks and later would prove very useful with three kids! We were beyond grateful.
His provisions only continued during this time. As I look back, I remember feeling like we were constantly surrounded by reassurances that this was His plan. We were walking in His will. These were our children and He had everything under control. Another blessing I vividly remember was Luke’s brother and sister-in-law buying us a car seat. That was huge, because we needed THREE of those things!!! Car seat laws are no joke, my friend, and of course, with good reason. Luke’s boss was also extremely understanding, flexible, and blessed us immensely during this time.
I cannot even come close to listing all of the blessings we received during this time. Our cups overflowed with blessing.
Along with financial and logistical concerns, I heard the words of the adoption specialist repeated over and over in my head as we waited the rest of the week to meet our girls. She told us at our disclosure meeting that one of our children was extremely introverted, refused to look at or have any interactions with anyone other than the foster parents. The social workers would be looking to her to decide when the girls could come home with us. This meant if she did not feel comfortable with us after four weeks, the timeframe would be extended and extended until she was ready. This child hadn’t even acknowledged or made eye contact with the social worker she’d being meeting with for over a year. She struggled to connect.
To put it lightly, I was nervous. Could she connect with us? Would she like us? Would she like me?