Neal and I married in 1999 and tried unsuccessfully to have a baby for several years. We were thrilled to find out I was pregnant in spring of 2004. After a difficult pregnancy, our beautiful Hope was born. Because of complications I experienced, another biological child just wouldn’t be possible for us.
We always wanted more than one child, so we became foster parents with Agape. Neal and I together decided that if any child we fostered ended up having no place to go, their permanent home would be with us. Over the next couple of years, many children came to us and then left, either going to adoptive homes or back to their biological families.
In early February 2010, we became foster parents to a beautiful newborn baby girl, Toni. We were told she would stay with us only a month or so before being placed with extended family. As one month stretched into many, Neal, Hope, and I fell more and more in love with the spirited child in our care.
In October 2010 I received another phone call as Toni and I were waiting to pick Hope up from school. This time it was about a newborn boy in Birmingham who was sitting in a carrier on a social worker’s desk. That evening Samuel joined our family as a foster child, and we knew from the beginning it was likely to be a long-term placement.
In late December 2010 we received another telephone call. This time Neal answered. Toni had a newborn sister, one day old. Neal looked at me, and I nodded my head, and just like that, we had another child. We visited with Lena at the hospital that day, and we returned to the hospital the next day to bring her home.
On December 1, 2011, we finalized Toni and Lena’s adoption. On September 19, 2012, we finalized Sam’s adoption. We can’t even remember what life was like without them!
Mid-November of last year, we picked up another newborn boy from the hospital. We expect this placement to be long-term as well.
Fostering/adoption is definitely not for the faint of heart, but now we can’t imagine building our family any other way. All our children are such a blessing, and we will be forever grateful to Agape for facilitating their placements with us!