These are special moments when all six are sitting calmly in one place. Cartoons will do that to a toddler and their dogs, and Ana didn’t miss the opportunity for a candid group shot. This picture is rare, unusual, and when I saw it, my mind hit replay.
Four years ago And and I decided we would take this whole foster parenting thing for a whirl. God will place things on our hearts, and while few of them are as monumental as raising children, we always choose to listen and obey. He opened a spot in Ana’s heart to put kids. I didn’t get that particular message, but I did feel called to support her in whatever she wanted to do. I had no idea where that loyalty and commitment would take us, or what it would cost.
Since then, our marriage was pushed to the brink. The same can be said for our business, finances, friendships, family relationships, and even our physical health and emotional well-being. We have seen unbearable injustice and still struggle to forgive some people. Our lives have been at risk, our hearts broken, and we have reached our limit and beyond more than I can recall.
But then I saw the now part of this picture.
I see four well-adjusted and very happy kids that are confident and can just be kids now. They take their home, safety, stability, love, and family for granted just as every toddler should. They have us, and they have each other.
What can’t be seen in this picture is Crystal. She is Kwamane’s biological mother, and through the experience of caring for her son, she has become just as much a part of our family as these six precious souls. We love her as much as we love the younger ones and have adopted her as our daughter. Very soon we will make that legal.
Purpose, and self-understanding, is found in the struggle. So is wisdom, strength, the deepest love, and a real sense of what you value most in life. Facing the most daunting challenges, the most crippling fears, the most formidable enemies, that is the path to freedom, prosperity, and peace.
We went into this to save kids.
We had no idea that the kids would ultimately save us.
That, too, is why God sent us.