Five years ago we got a phone call and made a decision that changed our lives. Our last of nine children, Ariel, had turned 13 and I was enjoying being the parent of an only child. I homschooled her, took her to riding lessons twice a week and sewed for her children's choir. We ate out at nice restaurants, never ate fast food, and slept as late as we wanted. We could travel anywhere, anytime we wanted. We went to Disney with only a pass and a credit card in our pockets (to anyone who has ever shlepped a stroller and a diaper bag, this is huge !) I took stained glass classes and violin lessons, thinking I would play in a community orchestra one day. I was seriously thinking about whether I wanted to take up gardening or just be a regular on the 'out to lunch' circuit with friends. I rarely had to do anything I didn't totally want to do.
Then Cheryl called us from China. She said she had received a call from a Chinese couple who owned a restaurant here in Franklin asking if I would babysit their newborn 24/7 indefinitely. I laughed and said , "I don't babysit." I told Jerry that night, laughing, and he said, "Are you sure?" Of course, I was sure. Life was easy, babies are hard. I had almost finished raising (homeschooling) nine kids- 4 birthed , 5 adopted. Surely I had finished what God had required of me.............But doubt crept in. Maybe this Was God. Not many people we knew had had this experience. In fact, none had. .......So we said 'yes'.
I fixed up a new nursery in our house and bought a ton of baby clothes all the while wondering if this would really happen. On a cold winter day, I put the car seat in the car and drove to Ric's parents' house where they handed me a tiny baby boy dressed in pink.
That was five years ago. Ric still lives with us and loves to spend the night with his parents occassionally. When his parents considered sending him to live with grandparents in 2006, we offered to take him for a visit. Anyone who knows me and how much I hate to fly will know that only my love for Ric and God's supernatural intervention allowed me to make this offer. This lead to a visit with Cheryl and to an orphanage where we first saw Dominic. In our attempt to bring him home we became foster parents and the Lord sent us Nellie,10, whose adoption was final in November. Because we didn't think we could get Dominic, we went to China in 2008 and brought home Andy. While in China, we found out that Dominic,10, had become available. In the process of paperwork for him , we found out that China would let us bring home Rosemary,10, as well !!
So, as Ariel is about to graduate from high school, we will have 5 young children. I haven't picked up a violin in years , although I'd like to brush up enough to get this set of kids started. My stained glass equipment is covered with dust in a corner of the playroom. We are back to eating at fast food restaurants when we travel. But I am not complaining. Life is a blast ! I am so grateful for this surprise ride the Lord has taken us on. After all, as someone said, so well , "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, WOW ! what a ride !" To that I say 'Amen'.