From two to three

The jump from no kids to two kids is a big one. Earl shares his family's story.

The jump from no kids to two kids is a big one.

For us, it was really life-changing, not just that we were suddenly parents to two little girls, but also because it suddenly opened up a world of social opportunities that we hadn’t had before. Living in a little village, you think you know everyone. Then you welcome children into your family, and suddenly a whole new demographic of people become your friends!

For our small church, the addition of two little ones was a great thing. We had very few kids in our church family before our two came home, so their coming along meant we could really develop our kids’ ministry. It meant when a new family showed up at our doors, we were able to welcome them in with a great programme to offer to their children. Having more noise and a little more chaos around the church building, for us, is a positive thing, and as a church leader it’s been a delight to see our church family grow and change in this way.

Of course, figuring out how to care for our daughters who both had a tricky start in life has been a learning curve in itself. Our rhythms and routines changed; my wife and I shifted from spending time together during the day to later at night when the girls were in bed – thankfully, they are both great sleepers! We faced the typical sibling ‘stuff’ that all families go through, and we navigated the challenges that were more directly related to the trauma that our girls had experienced. But the joy they brought to our home and to our extended families was huge, outweighing any of the challenges or difficulties by miles.

Over time, we got used to life with two. Things were great, and we had a lot of fun.

“Yeah. We can do this.”

It was a Sunday night, a few years ago, when my wife told me that she felt we were finally ‘getting it’. We were in the swing of things, we had just about figured it out.

The next day, I was in a prayer meeting with work, and I got a phone call from my wife. She told me that we needed to talk. I left the prayer meeting, and she told me that she had received a phone call from the local council. Our daughters’ birth mother was pregnant again. We were asked if we would consider adopting this baby when it was born.

Less than 12 hours after congratulating ourselves, feeling like “we could do this,” and here was the possibility of a third child entering our family.

It took us a little while to jump over the hurdle that was the question “can we really do three?” I was probably a little more hesitant than my wife. But we made it to the point of deciding that yes, we could provide a safe and loving home for this baby, the unborn sibling of our daughters.

It had been more than two years since we had been approved as adoptive parents, so we entered the adoption process again from the very beginning. We started again on the paperwork. We had the initial phone calls. The social workers began visiting the house again. Their presence in our home was particularly difficult this time round, because our girls were usually home when they came, and for them, a social worker coming into the house had historically not been a good sign. But we made it through and were approved once again to adopt.

Then there was a period of hearing nothing. We didn’t feel it was right to tell people before we had been officially matched with this little baby, so we endured that period in quiet anticipation. A few months later, we heard from the social worker.

“She’s been born. This is her name. Here’s a photograph. We’ll send through the details. We think she’ll be in your home within a month.”

We made the jump from two to three, and suddenly we were outnumbered. Our littlest was quite easy to handle before she could walk, but it wasn’t long before she was all over the place. She has some additional needs, and that has meant that some of what we do and where we go as a family now looks a little different. Our church family has changed and adapted to make room for more children and welcome the noise and the little feet that love to run around the perimeter of the room. Our friendship circle has grown again, as we build relationships with families whose children are close to our little one in age.

More than ever, we feel like our family is a little different to the many nuclear birth families that live in our little village. But we continue to have a lot of fun.

If you'd like to read more of Earl's story, he shares about his journey to adoption in his book our road to adoption: the story of our family and the great family of God, which you can find out more about here.

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