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In March of this year we got together with our friends the Sterlings for a long-awaited lunch that we’d rescheduled approximately 142 times. They were the family that had originally sparked our idea to foster, and we needed to eat Blue Bell ice cream and unload our frustration at not being able to do what we felt like God was telling us to do.

The Sterlings were in their typical encouraging form, and affirmed our decision to put things on hold until we could (a) get a bigger house or (b) get an overnight visit from the Extra Closet & Bedroom Fairy. I remember telling Gary, “We’re willing to help a child, and we want to, but unless God drops something out of the sky, it’s just not gonna happen.”

(You know how this turns out.)

Two weeks later, Gary called me at home while Merriem was at a meeting at school. “You remember that conversation a couple of weeks ago?” he said. “I think God might have just dropped something out of the sky.”

Gary talked, and I furiously scribbled down notes: Little girl. Eight months old. Grandmother raising her. Considering adoption. Looking for a Christian family. And then: “I hope you don’t mind, but I told her about you guys, and she wants you to call her.”

The next hour was an excruciating wait for Merriem to get home. When she arrived, I sat her down and gave her the news, and we agreed to make the call and explore the situation. Talking to Grandmother yielded more notes. More questions. More heart-in-my-throat moments. Merriem was whispering more questions for me to ask, the most notable one being, “Can we meet her?”

And so we did. A few days later we met Haven for the first time. As we sat in Grandmother’s living room, I played with this angel in pajamas who kept herself occupied by pulling off my glasses and checking out the three big boys we’d brought with us. And I told Grandmother, “We don’t know what God is doing here. We don’t know if we’re the family that’s supposed to be sitting here. All I can tell you is that we want what’s best for this baby, and we want to be a resource to you for as long as you have this baby.”

And we walked away.

I walked out of that house honestly not knowing what was next. Not knowing what I should be feeling, and not even sure how I really was feeling. The next few days meant lots of prayers, lots of conversations, lots of questions. But we went back. And back. And back. Again and again, we found ourselves in Grandmother’s living room, being knit with the little girl who would eventually become our daughter.

to be continued

Haven's first birthday party. Apparently it was a pink tutu theme.