In a short time, my husband and I went from being a childless couple on fertility drugs to a family of five. Our first child was a 6-day-old baby who had been abandoned at the hospital. We named him Joe. Within the next two years, Kimarie and her half-sister, Carolyn, also joined our family.
Life became a whirlwind of diapers and toys. Questions of discipline and finances stressed our marriage, but the kids brought joy to our lives.
When they were teenagers, we adopted Joe's half-brother, Kai. He was a sweet 7-year-old boy. He came downstairs every morning already dressed, with his hair brushed and his bed made. But we were surprised at how Kai was afraid of being left alone. He shadowed us constantly.
Life was different after he arrived, from the new rules we established for Kai to where everyone sat at the dinner table. We found ourselves in constant battles with our older kids, especially the former baby of the family. The teens began to sarcastically refer to Kai as our "precious baby." The defiance was exhausting.
Eventually, the tide turned as we sought help and prayer from friends and did things as a family. We went on camping trips and vacationed at Disneyland. The older kids began to build happy memories with Kai, gradually letting go of the way things were before he arrived. Kai has let go of his fear of being left alone. He knows we're there for him.
These days our oldest, Joe, is out on his own. When he visits, I'm reminded of "The Waltons." Everyone hollers, "Joe's here!" and they all come running from every corner of the house. We all love each other and truly are a family.
Focus on the Family’s Wait No More program prepares hearts and homes for kids in foster care – whether for a season or a lifetime. Everyone who feels called to foster, adopt or support a foster/adoptive family can get involved through our nationwide events and resources. Every day, we help kids in foster care experience the love of family, no matter how long they’ve waited. Learn more at WaitNoMore.org.