Headbands and Flip Flops

About a year ago, with one simple email requesting help for a struggling student, our family changed and we didn’t even know it. As this request turned into an enrollment and a help being put in place by Christy, we still had no clue. As time went on, Christy began having a heart to help this child. To cry for this child, to provide as much extra help as possible. To pray for her. To hurt for her. To feel the pain a mom feels when their kids hurt. And she wasn’t ours. Well, not at that moment.

With each heartbreaking email and phone call, I listened. I listened to what Christy was feeling and saying and seeing how badly this girl was hurting. It was in April when, after listening to my wife weep after listening to how badly this girl needed someone, that I began to hurt and be burdened to help her. As Christy walked into the room, with tears in our eyes, the decision was made. We would reach out to this child and become what she was missing. A family.

As time went on, we continued watching as we could do nothing. We couldn’t see her, we couldn’t talk to her, we couldn’t change her situation and most of all, we couldn’t understand why she was going through what she was going through. We waited and in time, God’s time, a door was opened and we began the steps to become a welcoming home to her. It wasn’t easy but we knew it would be worth everything we were going through.

As the weeks went by, we waited for each and every inspection, interview, class and every other hoop we knew we needed to jump through. After everything was complete, we waited again. We waited for the call that we would have her in our home. It was a Wednesday morning when Christy’s phone rang. The voice on the other end said, “If you have a few minutes, someone would like to meet you right now.” As soon as she hung up the phone, we closed our business and headed to meet her. For the first time.

God placed this girl on our hearts and had given us a love for her and we had never met her. We didn’t know what her voice sounded like and didn’t know what she looked like. It was just as if we were having a baby and were rushing to the hospital for the delivery. But this time, we were rushing to an office for a meeting. Our first meeting. The first few minutes were quiet. She was shy and not really sure what to think. But you could tell there was something in her eyes that said, “I need you.” As I stared into her sweet face, I couldn’t help but tear up just a bit. Not noticeable but teary nonetheless. Our few minutes with her went from her coming to stay with us in a few days to her coming to stay with us that night. Thus, our future began.

We had 5 great days with her and for some reason, we had to take her back at the end of that weekend. It was hard. No, it was gut-wrenching. On her and us. Tears were for a different reason this time but we knew there was a reason it had to be this way. Then, the next day, Christy had a chance to take her to an appointment. From that moment on, she hasn’t left our home.

Times haven’t been easy adding another child into our family. The pains of her past and the hopes of our future sometimes collide. That’s okay. That’s how we grow into a family unit. By sharing our past experiences, our present circumstances and our future hopes and dreams. Our older 2 kids have welcomed her as a sister. It’s been tough at times but heck, having a brother or sister from birth is hard as well. We are honored to have been chosen by God to be her forever family. It’s not official by law but it is in our hearts. We firmly believe God has given her to us to raise forever! She has become such a big part of our family and she has grown more than we could have ever thought in such a short time.

Adding her has not only meant adding a daughter but it meant adding many other things as well. She is a girly girl and the amount of headbands and flip flops laying around our house has increased. She brought a working spirit to her brother and sister. They needed that kick-start. They had become complacent in our home and she helped shake some things up in them!

With one simple email Christy gets a hundred times a year, God changed our family. It wasn’t us doing this because everything in the flesh says, “You’re crazy for wanting to welcome a child you’ve never met into your family.” But in our spirit, we knew we were called to welcome her into our home. God gave us a love for someone we hadn’t met. He can do the same in you if you are willing.

Things are a bit tighter in our small home but that’s okay. With the tightness growth has come to our family. Yes, there may be a few more headbands and flip flops to trip over and pick up but we wouldn’t trade them for anything!

Love to you all!

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