I don’t know about you, but my life doesn’t always go according to plan. Take the last year or so, for example…
In November 2015, I found myself sitting next to a young lady in church for the second week in a row. This was notable because I attend a church of about three or four thousand people on any given weekend and I’ve never found myself randomly sitting next to the same person two weeks in a row, so it really got my attention. I felt a strong urging to talk to her, so I started a conversation and found out she was looking for a job and somewhere to live and was hoping to start going to college soon. Then I took her over to someone to ask about housing but our church doesn’t have an organized program for that, and I gave her my card and made her promise not to disappear on me. She contacted me that afternoon and I was so glad because I had found out they were hiring where my son worked and I wanted to get her that information.
The next week she was sitting in front of me. I don’t believe in coincidence but somehow I wasn’t surprised at this point. We were texting that same afternoon and I asked how the search for housing was going. She replied that she hoped to have a safe place to sleep soon and when I asked where she was sleeping, she said that mostly she wasn’t, but sometimes outside or in her car.
My heart broke and I couldn’t say a word. I took my phone to my husband and all I could do was show him the conversation. We just looked at each other and instantly agreed that she could stay in our daughter’s room, who was away at college at the time. And that’s how we took in another child. She had grown up in the worst of circumstances and desperately needed a new family. Over the next several months, she became like another daughter to us and in August 2016 we adopted her at 21 years of age. We had learned that adult adoption was remarkably easy and we decided to make our commitment to each other legal. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world but because of her past we are walking through recovery with her and none of it is easy.
My art-making has taken a bit of a back seat to being a mother once more, but it’s not a choice that I ever regretted, not when my biological children were small and not now when my youngest child needs me, either. But I’m trying to get back into the swing of things again, to return to a regular rhythm of communicating with my extended family and friends and supporters like you. Thanks for sticking around.