If we were having coffee today on this lovely Valentine’s Day, I would ask you to sit down for a few moments while I tell you the true story of how love conquered fear and loneliness and expanded our family. I dusted this post off out of the archives for just this very moment.
Nothing says “love” more than a family who adopts a child, let alone two.
When my brother married his wife 13 years ago, my sister-in-law already had two children of her own from her previous marriage. As both my niece and nephew grew up, and the house emptied, my bro and sis-n-law talked about adoption, since she was unable to bear more children. As they navigated the foster care system, they came upon two sisters who were in foster care and needed a permanent family.
My bro and sis-n-law originally wanted a baby, but when they saw the girls featured on a television news story, they fell in love. After the usual red-tape and legal hassles, the girls became permanent members of the family.
Big deal, right? Another successful adoption. While adoption is the crux of this story, the real story is about the power of love under extraordinary circumstances.
We already knew that my bro and sis-n-law were amazing parents. Sis-n-law’s daughter “KV” was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder at a young age and was medically treated, but not before she ended up in special education in school. After years of care and consistency, and dealing with KV’s bi-polar father and his shenanigans, KV was taken out of special education just before high school. That is a rarity. I saw first-hand what it took for my bro and sis-n-law to meet those challenges with love and amazing patience.
When the little girls were first fostered with my bro and sis-n-law, they required counseling, medical treatment, and a boat-load of patience. The girls had lived incredibly horrible childhoods, the youngest one being too young to remember much. The oldest one recently underwent hip replacement surgery to correct the results of this early childhood neglect and abuse. The rest of our family looked on in awe as bro and sis-n-law dealt with the strain of parenting these little girls.
I have loved watching my nieces grow up and enjoy normal, wonderful lives (camping trips to Yosemite, girl scouts, swimming lessons, summer camps). The oldest, AW, is now 12 years old, in middle school and LOVES to read. For someone not related by blood, she is kind of a mini-me (pictured). TW, at nine, is a girlie-girl, full of drama with a big imagination. They are deeply loved by all of us!
Bro and sis-n-law are in the process of fostering another little girl. They hope to eventually adopt her as well.
I have asked myself and others WHY would they want to keep going down this road? Do they not want peace? Bro is over 50 years old and never had children of his own. Bro is a wonderful uncle to my two daughters. Of course he wants children to call his own. And now he has them.
The gift of extraordinary parenting falls on very few people. The gift of love also fell heavily on my bro and sis-n-law and I stand in awe of them daily. If they can keep bestowing love on children who need it, then who am I to question God’s will?
I believe they find peace in knowing that they have literally saved lives, and for that, my heart overflows with love.
Please join fellow bloggers in February’s “Love is in Da Blog, hosted by “Just Fooling Around with Bee.” Share your stories, poems, and photos about love.
You can also join us for coffee and tea at Part-Time Monster’s Weekend Coffee Share!