it’s all a little foggy, the details of that day.  it was 7 years ago today.  that explains some of the lack of memory of the day’s events.  but it was also a whirlwind of a day.  an ‘i can’t believe this is happening’ kind of day. they had been with us for 9 1/2 months.  ironic?  they felt like ours from the first moment we heard about them.  but this day, they would legally become ours.  our adoption would be finalized.  we would officially be a family.

my sweet friend jennifer always remembers this day, and she always lets me know it was a special day for she and her husband.  i cherish this as i know her memories of the day are different than mine.  i wish i could crawl into her mind and see the day as she saw it.

i was a bit frantic that day. we had to get the kids ready-three kids ages 5 and under whom i had only known for 10 1/2 months.  we had to get to the courthouse on time, a bit early preferably. we had many friends and relatives coming to the hearing so i was worried about them finding the building, finding parking, finding the court room, etc.  we had to answer lots of questions for the judge.  what if our answers weren’t the answers she was looking for?

i was nervous.  this was it.  as they were legally becoming mine, there was now no chance they’d legally belong to their birth parents again. could i do this? could i do it well? would it hurt them? would they be able to forgive me if it did? could we do this? josh and i? could our marriage survive it? we had been thrust into the world of parenting overnight.  we met them one day and a month later, they were with us forever.

it’s been 7 years.  we are all still standing. there were moments, days honestly, we weren’t sure our marriage would survive.  i’ve been in a puddle of tears on the floor over mistakes i’ve made parenting.  the children have cried over what they miss about their birth parents.  they’ve cried over what they don’t know.  they’ve cried over what they may never know. we’ve questioned God.  we’ve rebuked the devil.  we have survived.

this past year has been one of our hardest yet.  we made the decision to enter into the world of foster care again, hoping for an adoption but realizing that may not happen. we spent months in training our minds and in preparing our hearts and our home. we made the decision to welcome someone into our family, only to have to let her go a few short months later.

this past year has also been one of our best.  during a dark time of depression for me, my counselor told me it takes a blended family (usually as a result of divorce and remarriage) 7-10 years to fully feel like their own family. she told me it’s the same for families formed by adoption.  the kids have lived with us for almost 8 years and i can honestly say, this past year, things really started to click.

we will always have struggles unique to adoptive families, but we know that.  we will probably always wonder if we really did the right thing, though we believe we did.  and what josh said in the courthouse that day 7 years ago, as i held a squirmy 2 year old on my lap and made sure a 3 year old and 5 year old were also okay, still holds true today.  when asked by the judge what this adoption meant for him, he told her it meant we were breaking the cycle.  that for the rest of our time here on earth, our children would live outside of the cycle of abuse and neglect and the numerous painful things that go along with that vicious cycle.

i didn’t know if i could do it, but i am.

i didn’t know if we could survive it, but we are.

i didn’t know if they’d be okay, but they are amazing.




  • Elizabeth Rings


    Ever since I have been in high school I have followed all of your stories, struggles and joys with your family. To this day you still inspire me to be a better person and I am so thankful for everything you taught me. I cherish all the time I got to know you. It makes me so happy watching you interact with your three beautiful children and learn from them just as much as they learn from you and Josh. Reading this article made my heart glow. I smile with all of you and I pray for you during hard times. Each of you holds a special place in my heart and I want to let you know I think about you all the time. Have a good year and I can’t wait to see more updates on the foster care process.

    Lizzie Rings (Loo)

  • Fran Hughes

    Kirsten, although I didn’t have a chance to get to know you all that well while working at The Chapel, I love you and your family. You have walked by faith every step of the way and are a great example to many. I continue to pray for Gods blessing on all of you.

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