“About seven years ago, right before our one year anniversary, we were super excited when we found out that we were expecting our first child. However, a few months later, very unexpectedly, I miscarried our baby. That was one of the hardest things that we have ever gone through. Over the course of those next two years I miscarried two other children. After the third miscarriage we were at a place of deep surrender to God…the pain was too great to carry on our own. It was during that time that God gave Sam and I both a heart to adopt.
One of the ways was through Isaiah 54 which says “ 1 “Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the LORD. 2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. 3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.”
When we moved to Minneapolis we were extremely excited to be surrounded by so many people that had a heart for adoption. And during 2010, the theme at our church was the year of Restoration. We felt God bring us back to that Scripture in Isaiah 54. It was also early that year that our friends, along with their four children, were in the midst of making a decision to open up their home to a sibling group of three children. These children were related to them and had just entered the foster care system. I remember sitting with them in their kitchen as they asked for prayer in the direction that they felt God leading them, to open up not only their house but also their hearts to these precious little ones. It's almost been two years since they opened up their home and their hearts and during that time we have felt God speaking to us in many different ways to be a part of their lives and the lives of these kids. To help in any way that we could since having seven kids seemed like no easy task even though our friends made it look so easy!
The popular question throughout the past months when we would talk about this to friends was…”Are you guys able to fit that many people into your house?” Inside, I probably got a little defensive and thought, “what's wrong with our house? It may be small but it will be filled with love!” I knew that our house was small but with Sam and I’s organizational gifts we thought out every nook and cranny to make it work! We even figured out a way to move our refrigerator a few inches which would enable all seven of us to squeeze, I mean, sit around our kitchen table. In this whole process I knew that by becoming a family of seven it would change our lifestyle too. I thoroughly enjoy opening up our home to others but in this season caring for these kids and having a secured seat for them at our table would be the most important thing.
Because the house was overpriced in this market it remained un-sold and the owners continued to drop the price slowly. After our friend received a response from the owner that the house was still for sale we looked into some options of owning the home but didn’t get anywhere. Then unexpectedly as I shared with our lender about how we wanted to do this because of our plans to adopt she mentioned an amazing “exception” to one of our options. Because of our growing family we could qualify to have two FHA mortgages at the same time. Allowing us to not have to sell our current home in this down market and qualify to purchase this one. Awesome news! But then there is still the fact that the price just dropped and tons of people have been looking at the house all along. Of course, there is also the fact that we serve a God who is GREATER than any of that! So we submitted an offer, much lower than the asking price, which had already dropped significantly, and we waited.
The number seven means a lot to me. Through the process of having our two biological children I struggled with how to express that even though you could only see two children we were supposed to have five. Five…three children that would have been older then our daughter. Really God? Can you really be THAT Good?!?! This past week I have been completely….COMPLETELY overwhelmed by the goodness of God! 2010 & 2011 have truly been years of Restoration and Return: Five children…a home that they can grow in across the street from a family who loves them as much as we do…two miles from the church…doing what we feel God has called us to do in life, ministry and our family? I will be forever grateful for the couple that sat in their kitchen almost two years ago following the prompting of opening their hearts and home to three very special kids. Thank you! The truth is…God REALLY IS THAT GOOD!”