‘When we first got married, we were convinced we didn’t want any kids’: Military family fosters, then adopts, 5 kids under the age of 5

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“Our adoption story is not a quick story. Perhaps none of them are. But it’s our beautiful story. Twists and turns. Joy and heartache. Painful goodbyes and uncertain hellos. Uncertainty and faith. Our story weaves nine individuals into one family. We didn’t set out to be a large family. In fact when we first got married, my husband and I were convinced we didn’t want any kids. We were young. We didn’t know much and later we changed our minds! After two high risk pregnancies and two beautiful surprise babies, we were what we thought was a complete family. We had our boy and our girl. We were done. And for 10 years, we thought that this was it.

But God. One of our favorite phrases. But God had different plans for us and he began working on each of us individually. Soon, our little family of four was convinced that we had room for more and that God was calling us to adopt. We knew without a doubt we were called to adopt from foster care and seeing the close relationship our son and daughter had with each other, we specifically felt called to a sibling set. We felt it was important to work to keep siblings together.

We soon had our license and the calls started coming in for placements. Our first two placements were with us for 6 months and a year and a half. Both of them transitioned home or to a relative’s home. It was so hard to say goodbye to these beautiful babies that had become such a huge part of our family. But we also knew that the purpose of foster care is to help families out and that reunification is always the goal.

At this point, we were done. Our hearts hurt and we weren’t sure if we could, or if we wanted to, set ourselves and our children up for that hurt again.

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For months we said no every time admissions called. Some days I said ‘no’ to more than 20 kids. The need for foster families was huge. Finally, I had a case worker ask me, ‘What will you say yes to?’ It made us think and made us reevaluate. We were saying no because we were afraid to be hurt again. Meanwhile hundreds of children were hurting and needing a safe place. We decided love was worth the risk. Love is always worth the risk.

We received a phone call from admissions about a 14 month old little boy. We accepted. The details about his abuses and hurts are his story to share in his timing, but his story still brings me to tears. Accepting him, was the turning point in our adoption story. Once we finally said yes and opened our hearts to love the orphan and possibly be hurt in the process, the floodgates opened!

We had planned on sibling sets. That’s not exactly how it worked out… Right away. Two weeks after we accepted Topher, we received a call about a two week old little girl. We said ‘yes’ again. And little Gracie girl joined our family. Just a month later, a teen mom came to us and asked us if we would be willing to have an open adoption with her and adopt her baby at birth. Again, we said, ‘yes!’ Caleb was born 7 months after Gracie had joined our family. Just four months later, Gracie’s Tummy Mommy had another baby. DCF asked us if we were willing to keep the siblings together. We said, ‘yes.’

Jingles Photography

Sweet Caroline joined our family in October. We were sure we were done and our hands seemed very full! The Army was getting ready to move us to the other side of the country and we still had adoptions to finalize before we could all move as a family.

In a very surprising twist of events, we received a phone call in April that Topher’s Tummy Mommy had just had a baby. They asked us again if we would keep the siblings together. We said, ‘yes!’ Little Mercy joined our family in April.

Our house (and our van!) were filled! We had a 14 year old, an 11 year old, a 2 year old, an 18 month old, a 10 month old, a 6 month old, and a new born! The last year has been a blur of activity, toddlers, diapers, bottles, moving, adoption finalizations and lots and lots of love!

Love is always worth the risk. Each time we said, ‘yes,’ we opened our hearts to the very real possibility that they would not stay with us forever. I’m happy to tell you that all of them have now officially been adopted! It was a long road and it wasn’t an easy road, but it was so so worth it!

Love is always worth the risk!”

Watercolor River Studio – Photography by Abi Fasciano

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Franklin of North Carolina. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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