Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Story of the A* Team

Because God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame. 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Seth and I were married on February 27, 2010.  We were so excited to start our brand-new life together, just us and my stepdog, Angie.  We were excited about starting a family after we had a couple of years of marriage under our belt and we looked forward to those newlywed years with joy, knowing that we could serve God with no strings attached together.  Seth had been interested in foster care and mentioned it while we were dating, but I brushed him off and he did the same when I mentioned adoption.  We agreed to disagree!  But what we did agree on was that we would both be open to whatever God asked of us. 

I have to be honest, though.  I had lost my mom at 22, and the thought of having anyone else that I love potentially leave my life was pretty terrifying. So when I began to hear a still, small voice beckoning us to foster care through the simplicity of the commands in Scripture, I tried my hardest to ignore it.  This was simply not in our picture book of a perfect life.  But that voice only got stronger, and I began to read stories about foster children and see foster families that we knew out and about.  God even started waking me up in the night!  I love my sleep so finally I went to Seth and confessed that I felt God was calling us to foster care.  He is the practical one in the marriage, so I half-hoped he would say, “Maybe someday, honey.  You know, like when we have been married more than three months.”   

You read that right, three months.   

But he didn’t-instead he committed the matter to prayer.  The very next morning, he sent me an email at work titled Frequently Asked Questions about Indiana Foster Care.  I knew then that it had to be the Holy Spirit, because my husband is not a rash or quick decision maker.   

A few months later (August 2010), we became licensed therapeutic foster parents, desiring one older child or two at the most.  Many people we love questioned our decision and maybe our sanity.  But God promises in John 10:27  -- “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”  

Once we were licensed we received lots of calls on children.  But God did not give us the green light until mid-October.  We got THE call.  I didn’t realize it at the moment but God was orchestrating several miracles at once.  Our caseworker took a chance and called us on a sibling group of three children under four. 

You read that right, three children under four.

 At first I was overwhelmed by the sheer thought of it as most normal folks would be, but I immediately felt different about this.  That night I went to bed and asked God for a dream.  

Even though He had already made it clear in His Word, God honored my small bit of faith and did give me a dream that night - letting me know that these were the children He had for us. 

I knew He would have to MOVE to prepare Seth's heart for such a large task.  Wouldn’t you know, another miracle?!  
The oldest child’s birthday was the same day as Seth’s adopted sister, which also happened to be the same day as his parents’ anniversary.  

God told me through the dream to be prepared, and within a few hours of calls and texts, we had everything we needed from kid-friendly snacks in our pantry, to two beautiful toddler beds in preparation for these little ones, to a sitter to keep them for us daily while we were at work.  Our families were not sure about the whole idea of foster care, but especially so many, so young, and so all at once. However, the sheep had heard the Shepherd's voice, so we journeyed on.  We are so glad we did, and we are so honored to be their parents and watch them grow!

Three children walked into our home and our hearts on October 18, 2010.   Tabbitha, 3 – Heather, 2 – and Ty, almost 7 months.  They were three of the most beautiful sweet babies I had ever seen.  
I fell in love with them instantly.  That was the day the A* Team was born. 

We have had some extreme highs and lows in the 3 years that have passed, but we are now a FOREVER FAMILY!

There is a lot more to our family's story that I am not at liberty to share yet in a medium like this, but we have seen and can testify to the redemption of our God, who makes great beauty from a pile of ashes.

Tabbitha is the eldest of our children, a dark-eyed beauty that is the most determined little girl I have ever met.  She is four years old and loves to do anything athletic and to pray at preschool.  She also has a gift for charming people into doing anything she wants them to do by batting her eyes and asking, "Pretty Please?"  In other words, she is trouble for her daddy already.

Heather is the middle child, a blonde sweetie who loves life as a diva.  She loves feather boas, dressing up, and "lick gloss".  She is three years old and has a compassionate heart, delighting in helping others.  She is also into singing and dancing to praise the Lord.  She will either be the next Amy Grant or the next Lady Gaga.  We are steering her toward the former.

Tyler (Ty) is almost 4 and lights up a room with his huge grin and dimples.  He loves to climb on anything and gives his mother frequent heart attacks as he tries to clear things in a single leap.  He makes us laugh with funny faces and he loves to play in the toilet.  He has an extreme cuteness factor that makes all the ladies at the grocery give him cookies.

Elijah Burke Alexander is our little firecracker blessing! He was born on July 5th, 2013 and brings such joy to our whole family. His face can't handle the width of his smile and he never meets a stranger!


Anonymous said...

This makes my heart uber happy :)