Life was getting easier for Bill and Kim. One child was already off to college and the three at home were in junior and senior high, so the 42-year-olds could actually sleep in some mornings. Yet they were about to make a decision that would postpone their impending empty nest and the freedom that comes with it.
It was 2007, and the family had just moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, after Bill was stationed there by the Canadian military. When a couple they met said they were adopting children, Kim glanced at her husband. She'd been interested in this topic for a long time, so Bill knew what she was thinking.
"I'm in so much trouble," Bill remembers saying that day, but he did agree to attend an adoption meeting.
After the meeting, Kim decided that adding children to the family at this point in their lives was "dumb."
"My heart was there, but my head was saying, Kim, don't be so silly. Your kids are grown," she says. "And Bill wasn't opposed to it, but he was indifferent."
Even though the couple set aside the idea, the theme of adoption "seemed to turn up everywhere" during the next year — on billboards, in the media and even with the company they kept, Kim recalls.
"We would laugh about it because it was getting ridiculous," she adds.
Bill and Kim say they continued to dismiss those nudges until one Sunday in 2008 when their pastor mentioned an upcoming event called Wait No More. Created by Focus on the Family, the event was for anyone exploring adoption from foster care. "We knew we had to go because God was slapping us in the face and we were ignoring it," Kim says.
At Wait No More, a sense of peace enveloped the couple.
"It wasn't a question anymore," Kim explains. "It felt like this is what obedience is. Wait No More was definitely the clincher for making the decision to adopt."
Within days, the couple started the adoption process. But they were still months away from being licensed as foster parents and one day away from their final home study visit when the child placement agency called with a question.
Four brothers under the age of 7 needed a home. Would Bill and Kim take them?
"We got the call on Wednesday, had the home visit Thursday, were licensed by Thursday at midnight, and the boys came Friday at suppertime," Bill explains. "There's no way without God's intervention that that would have happened."
While there have been struggles with the boys along the way, adopting them has blessed Bill and Kim in unexpected ways.
For Bill, it's been a second chance to experience fatherhood. Now that the multiple deployments of his naval career are over, he can finally be home every day. Helping the boys get ready for school has made him realize what he'd missed with his biological kids, Bill says, and that's helped him deepen his relationship with them.
"I don't know if Bill would have repaired those relationships if we hadn't adopted," Kim adds. "Not that they were neglected, but he was just never home."
The adoption has also taught Kim to "unconditionally love no matter what — no matter the circumstance, no matter if the kids have done the wrong thing," she says. "It's taken unconditional love to a deeper level."
The couple has witnessed how that love helped their children overcome past hurts and present-day troubles. As one of their biological kids faced difficult struggles during the last year, Kim says she responded in a way she hadn't thought possible.
"I don't think I would have had that same level of compassion without the adoption of the boys," she says.
"If I've learned anything, it's that the strength of family really means so much," Kim says. That's a message Wait No More presenters continue to stress on behalf of children in foster care.
"Without Wait No More," Bill says, "this wouldn't have happened."
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