Adoption: Our older girls (part one)

People ask now and then about our adoption stories, and I always refer them to the ‘Adoption’ category/tab at the top of the blog. Not too long ago I skimmed through the category myself and realized that although I blogged some about our 12 and 14 year old daughters’ adoption as it was in process, I never really wrote a whole coherent account. So here ya go.
Spring break, 2007. We were vacationing on the Oregon coast. One lazy afternoon I was doing a little blog-hopping, and visited the blog of a family who was then in Ethiopia to adopt a couple of kids. On the blog the dad shared a whole gallery of pictures of kids he’d met while he was there.

At that point John and I weren’t really talking about adopting again. We had 8 kids at that point, including 4 adopted, the youngest of whom was only 2 years old. But the pictures of those kids stopped me mid-click. There were a couple of adorable little girls, but one older girl’s picture literally left me with a catch in my throat. Her face looked familiar to me, almost like I was looking at my own child.

I emailed the friend about all three of the girls. Turned out that the two little ones already had families, but the older one didn’t, and she also had a younger sister, also pictured in that web post. My blog friend told me that the sisters were just delightful, that he’d been very impressed with them.  In fact, he wished he and his wife could adopt them.   But they were already in the midst of adopting two other children.

I brought my computer to John, heart moved, but also totally expecting him to tell me I was nuts for even thinking about adopting again. And I was honestly OK with that possibility.  Instead he looked at their pictures, and read the description that my friend had written, and looked at the pictures again. “I wonder what their story is,” he said thoughtfully.

And we began to talk. And talk. With interest. With curiosity. With some caution. But also with a breathtaking amount of peace. Within a day or two, implausibly, amazingly, we’d decided to email the agency and find out more about the girls.

John and I have a great marriage, but we are both hard-headed, independent firstborns. We often reach agreement after an initial time of disagreement. Deciding to adopt our first son in 1998 was the most difficult decision we ever made as a couple. The 2007 adoption discussion was the polar opposite. The peaceful unity we felt immediately, and in the months that followed, was the most amazing thing we’d experienced in our whole marriage.  It truly was the peace that passes understanding.   I can only think it was God on the move in both our hearts.

Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part 5


  1. I’m excited to read this story – I have been reading for a long time & just think your girls are beautiful.

  2. Kimberlie says:

    I can’t wait to see how this story unfolds. We are adoptive parents of three, with one more son waiting for us (he’ll be 6.5 yrs old on Sept 1). I have always been the one to be dragged kicking and screaming into further adoptions. I thought I was done after #1 LOL! However, this time God worked on my heart first, then opened my husband’s heart. THIS time, I have nothing but peace, in spite of the fact that we still have to “find” $6K to complete our adoption and my husband is the one freaking out. It’s kind of fun to be the one that is calm and trusting in God’s grace this time. 🙂

    Don’t tell my hubby, but I have had a heart for older child adoption for a couple of years now. Being the oldest is super important to our oldest son, so we would never displace him in the birth order. I am just waiting for him to become a teen and our other son (2.5 yrs younger) almost a teen, then I will spring my plan to adopt a child of 10+ years to my husband. He-he!

  3. Can’t wait to hear more!

  4. Love your phrase “after an initial time of disagreement.” My husband and I are both the oldest of six sibs and I think we each often wonder why the other won’t learn to mind. 🙂 But we’ve also always felt our differences bless our family as we learn to combine our different viewpoints.

    Once I had the feeling we should get pregnant again–at what seemed like a very inopportune moment. We already had three boys, including a 2yo, plus a high-maintenance foster daughter–who was also 2. Let me repeat: TWO 2yos! So it took me some courage to tell him my feelings. I was floored when he said, “I’ve been feeling the same way.” Sometimes God makes our path very clear.


  1. […] two girls who came home in 2007 at the ages of 11 and 9.  (Here’s the start of the story:  Part One | Part Two | Part […]

  2. […] older children brings a different set of adjustments to the family.  In 2007 we brought home 9 and 11 year old sisters from Ethiopia.  We were so eager to welcome them that John and I both went to Ethiopia for them, bringing our […]