Do you remember that famous Friends episode where Ross repeatedly says, “But we were on a break!” ? Well, I do. Those are the words I’ve heard in my head over-and-over again when I think back on the past two months. Some of you have heard this part of our story, but for those that haven’t, it is simply amazing. I still sit in awe of God’s gracious love.
Let me flash back two and a half months…. One evening Daniel and I were sitting in our sun-room with nothing going on when I got a message on my phone. This was a message from a friend I’ve known most of my life but not had recent contact with. She’s a bit younger than me, her family has been on the mission field in Japan as long as I have known them, so it’s always been a relationship at a distance.
She had a dream. There are not a lot of specifics, but it was very clear that we would soon be getting twins and we were to say “yes”.
I froze. Daniel thought something bad had happened. I gave him my phone and told him he had to read this. He read, then we both laid back on the couch and stared at the ceiling. What are we supposed to do with this?
If you know me well, you will understand how much everything in this dream went against this rational Abby.
- One, we were on a break!
- Two, I was specific about the age group we were willing to foster and the dream was specific about the twins not fitting in my “age window”.
- Three, I’ve always said… twins would be a nightmare! How do you even think about surviving that? All I could do was laugh at God… maybe with God… I don’t know.
Daniel looked at me and said “who is this again?” Umm… somebody that I would say hears from God and if she says she has a word from the Lord I’m going to listen.
I spent two days in prayer. I asked others to pray with me / for us to have discernment. (not sharing first what the dream was.)
Within the first hour my sister had a sense of the Lord saying
“I the Lord have called you in righteousness and will go with you and will hold your hand.”
This is variation of Isaiah 42:6 and 41:13. I went to those two verses to read through the surrounding verses and felt particularly drawn to Isaiah 41:10 and 13. I had a sense of moving forward with something and God saying He will be with you every step of the way. (from sister) Then I told her about the dream…and said… don’t tell mom!
I walked around in a daze for a week. I don’t know why. Sometimes I couldn’t even speak. At that time my heart was still so raw from our prior placement and I couldn’t fathom God calling me back into something… especially something like this.
That Sunday, I was in Dothan and went to my old church. I haven’t been there in 3 years. It was a strange situation but I just felt like God was going to meet me there. The elder leading the service that day had a word that he felt strongly was for someone. It was a vision of someone standing on the shore, facing some big waves and God was asking them to trust him and step into the waves. It didn’t look like something they wanted to do but He promised He would be with them. Trust Him. Step Out.
Of course I wondered if this was for me. I could feel it deep in my gut. So deep that I feared if I even let my breath out I could start crying and not stop.
Two days later I shared my dream with my dad. He shared about that Sunday morning service and his deep knowing that the word was for me… but he wouldn’t even turn his head to look at me at the time. He didn’t want to pressure me but he knew as soon as he heard the word that God was after me.
Daniel was in Tampa. We continued to process, pray and trust God in this journey.
One evening as I was getting dressed for a Foster & Adoptive Parent Association meeting I got a call from a strange number. And I answered.
Abby, this is Jenny from placement. I don’t know if you guys are even ready to consider a placement but I wanted to check with you…. we have twin girls … I know you’ve been through a lot and might still be on a break, so do you want to hear anything more about these girls?
Umm… yes… but no… but yes, tell me more.
“They are two-years old. I know you’re licensed for one between the ages of 4-10, but would you consider twins under the age of 4?”
God thinks He’s funny.
I called Daniel. His exact words were “are you shitting me?” [I’m sorry… he’s not a model citizen ready to obey at the drop of a hat…] We talked through all the reasons we needed to say no. We stopped and prayed on the phone…. Then we talked through all the ways God had creatively prepared us to say yes. At this point, we were more scared of disobeying. So, we agreed that we needed to step out in obedience with a yes. It had to be the safest yet scariest option.
All this to say…. We are walking in complete surrender and obedience, a little bit scared, wide eyed and in wonder of what God is doing.
So… I called Jenny back and told her we would take the girls. She said “Great! Once you all get settled, we’ll talk about their 8 month old sister.”